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Sage Northcutt headed back to 155 pounds, says welterweight dabbling was ‘learning experience’

UFC on FOX 22 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

At just 20 years old, Sage Northcutt has already competed five times in the Octagon, and there’s a pattern in play. Each time he’s competed as a lightweight, he has prevailed. When he has gone up to 170 pounds, he’s found himself on the losing side of the equation.

That’s why the Katy, Texas native is vowing to make his return to the 155-pound division for his next fight in the Octagon. Trying his hand in the higher weight class was just part of his growth. He said as much on The MMA Hour.

“You know, obviously, anytime you lose you learn from it,” he said on Monday. “Not that you regret it but it’s a learning experience, and I’ll be back down at 155 now. I’m a natural 155er. So, that’ll be a good weight class for me.”

Northcutt was discovered on UFC president’s online reality vehicle, Lookin’ For a Fight, becoming the first fighter to emerge from the show. While still a teenager, he scored victories over Francisco Trevino and Cody Pfister to raise his cult status up a notch.

Yet the record skipped a beat when his original opponent for UFC on FOX 18, Andrew Holbrook, was forced from the bout with an injury. To stay on the card, the then 19-year-old Northcutt instead faced Bryan Barberena at 170 pounds, and ultimately lost via submission (arm-triangle choke).

He went back down to lightweight for a UFC 200 fight with Enrique Martin in July (which he won via unanimous decision), but accepted Mickey Gall’s callout to face him next. That fight took place at 170 pounds.

And Northcutt once again was dealt a loss, this time via a second-round rear-naked choke in December. That’s why “Super” Sage says he’s headed back to the weight class that has been best for him thus far in his young career.
“For now I’m at 155,” he told Ariel Helwani. “In the future obviously I’m still growing, who knows, it could be years in the future, but I’m still putting on muscle, still getting taller and bigger, and still growing. I guess we’ll see, but right now 155.”

Asked when he’s like to return to action, Northcutt said an April or May return would be ideal.

“Yes sir, [I don’t have an] exactly a set date, but maybe sometime in the next three months, four months, and back at 155. So I’ll be learning the most I can until then, and improving.”

He also refused to dish up any names that he’d like to see next.

“I don’t have an opponent in mind, it’s who the UFC gives me,” he said. “But definitely going to be at 155.”

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