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Sage Northcutt gets new opponent, weight class at UFC on FOX 18

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Sage Northcutt is gaining a new opponent and losing some of his weight cut.

Bryan Barbarena will step in for Andrew Holbrook to face Northcutt at UFC on FOX 18 on Jan. 31 in Newark, the UFC announced Friday. The bout, originally scheduled to take place at lightweight, will be contested at welterweight.

Northcutt (7-0) has stormed onto the scene as someone to watch after being signed following an appearance on UFC president Dana White's reality show, Lookin' For a Fight. The Houston native has won both of his UFC fights via finish. He knocked out Francisco Trevino by first-round TKO at UFC 192 in October and submitted Cody Pfister with a second-round guillotine last month. Northcutt, a karate prodigy, is just 19 years old.

Barbarena (10-3) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Chad Laprise at UFC 186 last April, but does have a UFC win, against Joe Ellenberger via TKO in December 2014. The Minnesota native was supposed to fight Jonavin Webb at UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Means on Feb. 21 in Pittsburgh, but now Webb will need a new opponent. Barbarena, 26, fights out of the MMA Lab in Arizona.

There's no word yet on the reason for Holbrook's exit.

UFC on FOX 18 is headlined by a light heavyweight title eliminator between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader. In the co-main event, Josh Barnett faces Ben Rothwell in a heavyweight contender bout.