Sage Northcutt focused solely on UFC career with college no longer holding him back

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Something to consider for those who forgot how young Sage Northcutt really is: While other fighters talk about recovering from broken bones or torn ligaments, the 21-year-old from Texas can’t stop talking about how good he feels after having his tonsils and wisdom teeth removed.

After his unanimous decision victory over Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120, words like “amazing” and “blessing” came tripping off Northcutt’s tongue, which is hardly a surprise for the youthful and exuberant young fighter.

But if you ask Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), the real difference in his life now as opposed to when he made his UFC debut may be one of focus.

As he was quick to point out after his victory at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday night, when fans got their first look at him he was still splitting his time between training and school. Now he’s not only more mature as a fighter, he’s also more single-minded in his pursuits.

“Since my very first fight in the UFC, it was about two years ago, I was 19 years old,” Northcutt told MMAjunkie. “I was studying in school at the same time. I was coming out of high school. I was actually in college at Texas A&M University, so my very first fight, I was doing school at the same time. My next few fights, I was in school. But now I’ve withdrawn from school, and I’m focusing full-time on the UFC and fighting. Now I’m training at Team Alpha Male, one of the best teams in the world, and I’m growing as a fighter, getting better and better.”

According to Northcutt, he first connected with Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber via Instagram. The training he’s gotten there has helped him improve his overall game, he said, and his return to lightweight has helped him get back on the winning track after two losses at welterweight.

“I’m working my way up, one fight at a time,” Northcutt said. “I’m back down at lightweight, undefeated at lightweight, so that’s a blessing. I’ve been 4-0 as a lightweight. … Obviously in the future, I’m going to be looking forward to getting a belt and having Team Alpha Male there with me.”

As for his overall trajectory in the UFC, Northcutt was quick to point out that, despite his two years of UFC experience, seemingly all of which has come in the glare of the spotlight, he’s still a young fighter. That means that, while he may make some mistakes along the way, there’s also a lot of potential for growth still to come.

“I am still a kid, 21 years old right now,” Northcutt said. “I was the youngest person in the UFC to come in and win their first fight in the UFC. … I’m still growing, still getting better as a fighter, too.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Norfolk Twitter reaction: Sage Northcutt's return, Clay Guida's blowout, more

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 card, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, featured a number of notable matchups outside the main and co-main event.

Familiar names such as Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC), Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC), Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) earned victories that ranged from decisive to somewhat controversial.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to their winning performances at UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

Clay Guida steamrolls Lauzon

Marlon Moraes takes strange split

Sage Northcutt returns

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 results: Sage Northcutt sharp in return, cruises past Michel Quinones

After 11 months on the sidelines, Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) looked sharp in his return to lightweight, cruising to a decision win over Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 120 event at Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, Va. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FS1.

It was Quinones who looked to press the pace to start, but Northcutt sat back and picked his counters in fine fashion. Flashing quick, powerful hands, Northcutt let Quinones come forward and tagged him at every opportunity, adding in kicks as the round progressed, as well.

For his part, Quinones stood firm in the pocket and continued his intent to brawl, drawing some blood from his opponent’s nose. But Northcutt looked comfortable and confident on the feet, slipping counter strikes in with speed and power.

Quinones was again aggressive in the second, but Northcutt’s measured approach and perfect control of range left him in position to counter more often than not. Northcutt opened up the arsenal as the round wore on, adding in a few flashy kicks, but it was the powerful right hand that was doing the most damage. Quinones was gritty and aggressive in reply, but he was just a step behind Northcutt, who finished the round with a late takedown.

The pace remained high in the third, with Quinones fighting like a man behind on the scorecards, but Northcutt still controlling the exchanges. Quinones tried to make something happen, but Northcutt was able to slip and rip in reply. Quinones showed heart in battling through the blows but fell short in the judges’ eyes, 30-27 on all three results.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 120 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in Norfolk.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

Mickey Gall says Brown fighting for 'Lookin' for a Fight' belt he took from Northcutt

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NEW YORK – UFC welterweight Mickey Gall remains the most successful product of “Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight” Web series. But there’s only so long he wants to be known for that.

After beating ex-WWE champ turned MMA fighter Phil “CM Punk” Brooks in his debut, and then deflating the hype of fellow reality show vet Sage Northcutt, Gall (4-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is ready to return to the main-card, pay-per-view life.

First, though, the 25-year-old New Jersey native must put away Randy Brown (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), another veteran of the show.

“I’ve got the ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ belt. I took that from Sage,” Gall joked to MMAjunkie at a media day for UFC 217, where he faces Brown on the FS1-televised prelims at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “He had it, I took it, and now I’m giving Randy a shot at it.”

Brown has been more active than Gall inside the UFC octagon since the show, but he’s struggled with consistency, losing two of his five appearances. The fight doesn’t appear to be a step up for Gall, who’s won three straight, including his high-profile debut.

Gall looks at the fight as “a gift,” but anticipates bigger challenges in the future.

“This might be my last ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ guy, so I’m going to coast off into the sunset with that belt, and then as I become a legit welterweight contender, and then No. 15, 10, No. 5, and then I’ll have a title shot,” he said.

Gall faces a crowded field in the 170-pound division. Not only that, he’s got to cut through the noise of contenders vying for title shots against champ Tyron Woodley. Now, the callouts that helped him get a high-profile debut against Punk are downright commonplace.

“I’ve noticied a huge wave in callouts over the past year or two,” Gall said. “I think I’m a reason for that. I think people are seeing my success with it. There’s been people doing it for years, but now, it’s become, like, mandatory.

“After certain fights, like Tony Ferguson calling out (Conor) ‘McNuggets’ (McGregor) or Jon Jones calling out Brock Lesnar. There’s a million of them. (Cris) Cyborg is calling chicks out on Instagram. So I think people are figuring it out.

“It’s a chance to get your say; you can put your two cents in. It adds a little bit of drama. It makes it a little personal, and it makes it fun. We’re not just athletes – we’re entertainers.”

Not everyone is cut out for the approach he took, however.

“There’s some clunky ones,” he said. “They’re very cringe-worthy. Sometimes people act out of your character, and that’s a problem. If that’s not you – take Jim Miller. He won’t be calling someone out. So he doesn’t. But some of these guys are like, ‘Let me try to become a star now,’ and it just comes off bad and fraudulent and cringey.”

Gall has learned a few lessons about the timing of such invitations, as well. A previous callout of the retired Dan Hardy was met with a shrug from the onetime welterweight title challenger, who noted he was retired and had no intention of fighting an up-and-comer.

That isn’t going to stop Gall from speaking up. He has another callout in mind if he takes the win from Brown on Saturday. Of course, he’s keeping the lid on until he steps up to the post-fight mic.

After all, there won’t be much drama to add unless there’s some suspense.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Report: Sage Northcutt to make 2017 debut at UFC Fight Night 120 vs. Michel Quinones

Will Sage Northcutt finally fight in 2017 at November’s UFC Fight Night 120? That’s the plan as of right now.

ESPN.com reported today that Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has been booked to face Michel Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)in a lightweight bout on Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120. The event takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and airs on FS1.

It’s been a long road back to the octagon for Northcutt, who’s dropped two of his past three bouts. Most recently he was submitted by Mickey Gall at UFC on FOX 22 in December.

Originally, Northcutt hoped to return at UFC 211 in his native Texas, but that plan fell through when he underwent surgery to have his tonsils removed. Northcutt was booked to fight in July at UFC 214, though injuries during training camp to both Northcutt and opponent John Makdessi forced the cancellation of the bout.

Still considered a highly touted prospect despite his recent struggles, Northcutt hopes to finally fight for the first time this year – and at 155 pounds. His two losses have come at welterweight.

In Quinones, Northcutt faces an opponent coming off a TKO loss to Jared Gordon in his UFC debut in June at UFC Fight Night 112. Prior to that, Quinones was on a five-fight winning streak.

Additionally, bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao has been booked to fight Matthew Lopez on the card.

Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC), No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, has won nine of his last 10 bouts and seeks his third consecutive victory. Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) carries his own two-fight winning streak into the contest.

The latest UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Michel Quinones
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sage Northcutt vs. John Makdessi scratched from UFC 214; both fighters injured

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The planned lightweight bout between Sage Northcutt and John Makdessi has been scratched from UFC 214 later this month.

UFC officials today announced the removal of the contest, citing injuries to both Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC).

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass

The fight would’ve Northcutt’s return to the lightweight division after he suffered a submission loss to Mickey Gall in a welterweight contest at UFC on FOX 22 in December. He was originally supposed to fight Claudio Puelles at the event, but Puelles withdrew just over a month out.

UFC officials say the UFC 214 lineup will proceed with 12 scheduled fights.

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
  • Champ Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia – for welterweight title
  • Cristiane Justino vs. Tonya Evinger – for vacant women’s featherweight title
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir

PRELIMINARY CARD (FXX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Jason Knight vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Renato Moicano vs. Brian Ortega
  • Andre Fili vs. TBA

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 5:30 p.m. ET)

  • Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran
  • Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorkowski

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Felice Herrig: UFC promoting me in 'hot girl' fights isn't good enough

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In the moments following her impressive performance at UFC Fight Night 112, Felice Herrig fought back tears as she talked about feeling “not young and beautiful enough” for the UFC to want to promote her.

The frustration for Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) seemed to stem from the fact that, while she’s on a three-fight winning streak, which includes knocking off two previously undefeated opponents, the 32-year-old veteran wonders if the opportunity to become a star is out of reach.

On Tuesday, Herrig expounded on why she feels that way durng an appearance on “The Luke Thomas Show.”

“I get promoted when it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a hot girl fight.,’” Herrig said. “But I’m not the one they’re promoting. They’re promoting my opponent. I feel like I’m a stepping stone. I’m getting put on the main card every time, so obviously I’m some kind of draw. But, unfortunately, I’m fighting opponents who they’re trying to pump up and build.”

Herrig points to recent fights with Kailin Curran and Alexa Grasso as evidence. Herrig pointed out that Grasso, 23, was asked by the UFC to make more promotional appearances for their UFC Fight Night 104 co-headliner and was more prominent on the event poster, not just because she had been undefeated but also, as Herrig claims, because she’s young and attractive.

Which brings us to UFC Fight Night 112, this past Sunday in Oklahoma City, where Herrig knocked off another undefeated opponent in Justine Kish. Herrig wonders where all the promotion was leading up to the fight.

“Obviously it was a draw. People knew it was gong to be a great fight, because look where it was on the card,” Herrig said. “It was on the main card right before the main event. It got zero marketing behind it, zero pulse, zero attention, zero promotion. Why? Because it wasn’t a hot girl fight?”

Herrig’s arguments aren’t reserved for just female fighters, either, as she mentioned UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Sage Northcutt as examples of the company’s reluctance to push certain accomplished fighters, while others get special treatment because of their looks.

“It’s not just me. I’m not just speaking on my behalf. I’m speaking for all the fighters who feel this way,” Herrig said. “I am not the only one who feels slighted. … Look at someone like Max Holloway – 11-fight win streak, has more wins in his division than anyone in the UFC. Is he even getting attention? The respect that he deserves now that he’s the champ? I don’t think so. …

“Why is somebody like Sage Northcutt coming in, with what, two pro fights, he wins one fight in the UFC, and he does a backflip, and all of a sudden, ‘We’re going to pay you a (expletive)-ton of money. We’re going to pay you more than a guy who’s been in the UFC for 10 years.’ And then he gets choked out in his next two fights. And he’s still getting all this media attention?”

Despite how it might appear, Herrig wants to make it clear that she’s not against fighters; she’s against “the big machine,” as she calls it.

“I’m not against the fighters,” Herrig said. “I’m 100 percent not against the fighters. I’m against the system, because the system is (expletive).”

She continued, “this is not about beauty, and it’s not about looks. It’s about all the fighters who are getting overlooked who are very talented. If they even had just a little bit of push from the big machine, not even about their looks, just a little chance to shine, and to be put on the mainstream stage. That’s what it’s about.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

John Makdessi steps in to fight Sage Northcutt at UFC 214 after Claudio Puelles pulls out

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UFC officials today announced a shuffle to UFC 214’s fight card that will pair Sage Northcutt against veteran John Makdessi in a lightweight bout.

Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) previously was scheduled to face Claudio Puelles (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the event, which takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The bout order for UFC 214 has not been set, but main card fights air live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Northcutt is looking to rebound in the UFC at 155 pounds after a second-round submission loss to welterweight Mickey Gall at UFC on FOX 22, which left him with a 3-2 octagon record. The heavily hyped youngster is reportedly joining Team Alpha Male to prepare for fights after stints at Tristar and ATT Evolution.

In Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC), Northcutt faces the most experienced octagon competitor of his career. Makdessi has 13 UFC fights on his resume and wins over seasoned foes, including Sam Stout and Daron Cruickshank. Most recently, he’s hit a slide, losing three of four in his most recent appearances.

Despite that skid, a win over Makdessi would be a significant accomplishment. And for Makdessi, who was calling out every possible opponent for a return fight, a bump in stature would do well for his career.

The latest UFC 214 card includes:

  • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
  • Cristiane Justino vs. Megan Anderson – for vacant women’s featherweight title
  • Andre Fili vs. TBA
  • Jason Knight vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran
  • Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorkowski
  • Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir
  • Sage Northcutt vs. John Makdessi
  • Renato Moicano vs. Brian Ortega
  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie