It was only two months ago that Sage Northcutt took the MMA world by storm. The 19-year-old striker had enough to prompt the UFC to kick its marketing machine into full gear.
What he didn’t have, however, was a team of MMA fighters around him.
“I know there’s so many guys that you could possibly train with, and my dad has been my coach since I was 4 1/2 years old when I first started,” Northcutt said during the UFC 192 post-fight press conference in October. “I think he’s doing a pretty great job.
“Right now I don’t have fight camps. I understand that I’m young, I’m 19 years old and I have a lot of technique to work on. I’m working on positional, situational drilling technique and not really training specifically for a fight camp or any specific fighter.”
Northcutt’s training regimen was different, to say the least. It’s rare for a fighter to make it to the pinnacle of the sport without a handful of top-level fellow mixed martial artists by their side, helping them develop the necessary skills to succeed on such a competitive platform.
It’s also why so many were intrigued to see the young fighter visit Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada. There he’d get the chance to listen to the words of Firas Zahabi while training alongside elite-level fighters in Rory MacDonald and Georges St-Pierre.
But the pairing didn’t last long. According to Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter, Northcutt’s father was not pleased with how he was expending too much energy while training in Montreal. An elite-level athlete, Northcutt was often monitored by his father to ensure the 19-year-old’s body wasn’t reacting negatively to the training regimens.
Northcutt will reportedly stick with his usual routine in preparation for Cody Pfister at UFC Fight Night 80 on Dec. 10.