Despite being just six fights into his career, the spikey-haired, impossibly polite Northcutt is already gaining steam as the lightweight division's next big thing, helped in large part by his dazzling 57-second UFC debut. The win proved what many observers already believed: that Northcutt, with his age, skills, and otherworldly athleticism, has star potential through the roof.
Pfister, though, is no fool. So if he was brought in to be another stepping stone for the teenager's rise to the top... well, he's more than happy to play the role of spoiler.
"You look at his record," Pfister said at Tuesday's open workouts. "His opponents' record if you combine it, it turns into a losing record. Whereas if you did with to my opponents' record, they would have a winning record. So I just think it's a lot of over-hype. But it's cool. It works. He's young. I guess he's Dana (White)'s new boy. He's his lap dog for the moment, but I'm sure he'll kick him to the curb after that. After I go put him down, they're going to throw him to the s**t like they do everybody else, so it is what it is."
Pfister pointed to Northcutt's UFC debut as an example of what he meant. Northcutt opened eyes this past October when he steamrolled through Francisco Trevino with an array of flashy kicks, punches, and even a takedown, preserving his perfect career finish rate and leaving a first impression to remember. Trevino, however, badly missed weight prior to the bout, then popped for marijuana metabolites afterward.
Those factors, along with a post-fight shove of referee Herb Dean, ensured that Trevino was promptly cut from the UFC, plus left Pfister unimpressed.
"His opponent took the fight on short notice, came in overweight. The dude failed his drug test. Like, how serious were you being about this fight?" Pfister said. "That s**t is not going to happen with me. They gave me a full eight weeks. I'm going to come in there prepared, ready to f**king kill. Man, f**k this s**t, I'm just ready to go f**king smash. I'm ready. It's just, ah, I'm crazy, and he's not going to be able to handle it."
While Pfister has remained supremely confident throughout the lead-up to fight week, it's not as though he believes the hype surrounding his opponent is unwarranted. He freely admitted that Northcutt is "a very talented kid," as well as "a tough, well-rounded fighter."
But with Northcutt listed as high as a 12-to-1 favorite on several sportsbooks, Pfister does think people may be getting blinded by the hype, and that viral videos like those of Northcutt effortlessly bending skillets won't help once the 25-year-old Pfister is putting "that old man strength" on the youngster on Thursday night.
"I think he needs to buy better pans, because your cooking-ware isn't very good if you can bend it," Pfister joked. "But I feel like he's under a lot of pressure, and I feel like that pressure is going to break him, so this is going to work to my advantage. I'm just really happy and excited to go and smash, do what I love.
"I'm going to go out there and steal the hype," Pfister added. "So f**k it, they'll know who Cody Pfister is after this."
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