He may be an undefeated 5-0 in the Octagon at 155 pounds, but Sage Northcutt is still heading back to his old division.
Following a decision win over Thibault Gouti at February 18’s UFC Austin, the 22-year-old prospect told Submission Radio (via Bloody Elbow) that he was moving back up to welterweight, a division in which he was submitted in his only two UFC fights.
‘Super Sage’ said the weight cuts down to 155 pounds were becoming tough with the last few pounds difficult to sweat out due to him growing up:
“Believe it or not, I’m actually planning on moving up to 170 for my next fight. Because fighting at 155, I believe the weight cut, the last three or four pounds is really tough.
:I walk around under three percent body fat pretty much all the time, and the last three or four pounds is pretty tough for my weight cutting and I think it’s affecting my performance a little bit. So I guess we’re gonna see what happens.
“I have had some pretty tough weight cuts. Every single one to get down to 155 is definitely pretty tough to get there because the last little bit is definitely hard,” he added. “My body might stop sweating, or maybe it’s hard to lose the last few pounds. But I believe I’m getting older now. A few years in the UFC and my muscles are maturing more, I’m getting a little bit taller, stronger, more muscular. So we’re gonna see exactly what the game plan is, but I believe I am going up to 170.”
Many will wonder if it’s the right move for Northcutt, who was stopped by Mickey Gall and Bryan Barberena in his only two UFC fights at 170.
Northcutt discussed the prior losses, noting that he had taken the first fight on short notice, and didn’t have much of a training camp to face Gall because he was studying to be a petroleum engineer at Texas A&M University:
“Well, I had two fights in the UFC at 170. My first fight I went to 170 on like three or four days’ notice, so less than a weeks’ notice because I was scheduled to fight at 155,” Northcutt explained. “I was already cutting down to low 160’s to be able to get ready to finish that last part of my weight cut, and then my opponent got injured. Andrew Holbrook broke his foot, so they moved it to 170 last-minute.”
“I think it will be different, because my last fight at 170 against Mickey Gall, I didn’t have a training camp. I was in school, studying to be a petroleum engineer. My focus wasn’t focused full-time on fighting, I didn’t have the ability to have training partners and sparring and people correcting me and the best coaches in the world. So I think it’s gonna be a different experience now.”
Now focusing full-time on MMA while training at Team Alpha Male, the once-hyped sport karate wiz will look to get the hype train rolling once again, and apparently, it will be up a weight class due to the oft-discussed topic of cut-related problems.
From the sound of things, it’s a smart topic to pursue if his cut to lightweight is already tough at 22, especially with the dangers of huge cuts that seem to force combatants out of big fights on a somewhat normal schedule.