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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggie in the Octagon

Sage Northcutt

A freshman at A&M will become the third youngest fighter ever to debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Houston Saturday at UFC 192.

Engineering freshman “Super” Sage Northcutt, who has third degree black belts in both Taekwondo and Kajukenbo, started martial arts when he was 4-years-old and began competing when he was 7. When he reached 13, he had traveled around the world for competitions. Now, at the age of 19, Northcutt has two years of Legacy Fighting Championship fighting under his belt and boasts a 5-0 professional record. He currently is the youngest active fighter on the UFC roster.

“All five of my [professional] fights — four-out-of-five I finished in the first round, and the only one I didn’t finish in the first round, I finished in the second round,” Northcutt said. “Three of those were knockout and two were by submission.”

Northcutt said balancing schoolwork and his fighting career has been difficult since he began at A&M in the spring. 

“My first semester I took full-time classes studying to be a petroleum engineer,” Northcutt said. “The classwork and the engineering projects I had to do on the weekends made it really hard, so really all I could do the first semester was work out at the gym and maybe get some grappling in on the weekends.”

Northcutt received his call to the UFC by Dana White, UFC president, just before the start of the fall semester. As a result, Northcutt said he takes fewer classes this semester at A&M so he can have time to train. Northcutt said he trains at Gracie Barra in Katy three to four hours every day, with an occasional day off on Sunday. 

“The training consists of lifting weights at the gym and Jujitsu class or Jujitsu private work with my private coach, Chris Mango,” Northcutt said. “That would be two hours right there. And then you would have stand up bag work and MMA drilling and conditioning — two to three hours of that — and then just rolling around with people.” 

Mark Northcutt, Sage Northcutt’s father and trainer since Sage was four years old, said being Sage’s father and coach means knowing him better than anyone else.

“Your typical fighters — most of the fighters that we’ve come in contact with — have so many fighters that they manage,” Mark Northcutt said. “They could care less about you. If you lose, they go on to the next one or two or a dozen fighters they manage. You’re never on their mind. They’re not thinking about you during the day or before or after you win. It’s much better being a dad and a coach.”

Colbey Northcutt, Sage Northcutt’s sister, grew up fighting MMA like her brother. Colbey Northcutt said Sage has always been both confident and humble despite the attention he has started to receive.

“People are starting to get to know him a little more as he gets more into the spotlight, but you know, his personality doesn’t really change,” Colbey Northcutt said. “Yes, he’s grown but he’ll always remain the same humble, respectful fighter and person he is with his strong Christian background.” 

Sage Northcutt said instead of training for each specific fighter he competes against, he trains to make himself a better athlete in general. 

“I’m still 19 years old — I turned 19 in March — so I have a lot of technique to learn,” Sage Northcutt said. “So that’s what I’m really focusing on. Not training for a specific guy, just training myself and making myself an all around better athlete.”

Sage Northcutt said he always visualized fighting in the UFC. In 2006, when he was 9 years old, he was on the front cover of Sport Karate Magazine. In the article, he said he would have 40 National Blackbelt League world titles by the time he was 18. He achieved that goal by the time he was 15, and now holds 77.

“The most [NBL world titles] anyone ever has had I think is 20, so nobody has even come close to breaking [my record] yet,” Sage Northcutt said. “I also told them my second goal was that I was going to be in the UFC and be on TV, and now it’s happening, so that’s awesome.”

Sage Northcutt will fight in the lightweight division on the preliminary card against Francisco Trevino (12-1) at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston. 

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