Sorry to disappoint everyone, but #SageNorthcutt is exactly the same way in “real life” as you see in interviews and TV. He is really the most polite person I have ever met. Never have I trained with a guy who thanked me after every combo I worked with him. He’s super friendly, very respectful -- truly how he is portrayed in the media.
It’s refreshing to work with a guy like that. I get so many tough guys trying to be hard asses and Sage is over here saying please and thank you.
I originally met Sage through #Bellator kickboxer Raymond Daniels, who I have trained for years. Raymond and Sage have known each other through the karate world and, after being introduced, Sage invited me out to Texas to work with him for a week. We hit it off, and decided to work together for his upcoming fight against #MickeyGall, which I will be cornering him for.
We trained together for a week at Gracie Barra Katy and had some killer sessions out there, and then Sage came out here to Orange County, CA to train with me at my gym (Classic Fight Team) for a few weeks.
The thing with Sage is, he’s genuinely a unique guy. There really is no one like him. People forget how young he is, how far he’s come in such a short amount of time. I can see where’s he’s heading - and fast.
Even when we weren’t training, we were doing something active. While I was in Texas he took me indoor skydiving. Sage was much better at it than me, I just flailed around while he sailed smoothly.
I also traveled with Sage to New York for #UFC205 and we trained while we were out there as well.
It’s been a good camp, he’s ready.
I think fans are going to see a lot of fireworks, Sage is super explosive. Everyone knows Sage is super athletic and he really didn’t have anything he needed beyond a little bit of practice. We worked on a lot of stand-up, wall work and takedown defense. I think a lot of people are underestimating his grappling and his ground game. He’s got great submissions, great wrestling. He’s not going to have any trouble.
As far as Saturday goes I have a few predictions:
- If Mickey Gall gets ballsy and wants to stay on the feet I think Mickey will get knocked out in the first round.
- If Mickey can find his rhythm with his takedowns (which I don’t think he can) I don’t see him submitting Sage, so it would go to decision. I still see Sage winning off points because Mickey will just be diving for the legs over and over again.
I think Mickey is taking the easy route, first calling out a guy who has never fought in MMA (CM Punk) and now calling out a younger guy in a lighter weight class. I know Sage likes a challenge, so here we are.
And once Sage gets past Mickey I would like to see him go back to lightweight and face a top-ten fighter. I think he’s ready for that. I think he’s a phenomenal lightweight (and a big lightweight).
No matter what happens, you’ll be seeing a show.