One of MMA’s most talked about prospects, Sage Northcutt, may have found a home with California’s famed Team Alpha Male camp.
The 21-year-old fighter recently announced that he was spending time with UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber’s team in Sacramento, and Northcutt gave a glowing review of the experience during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday.
“Training at Team Alpha Male is awesome,” Northcutt said. “Everyone is kind of like brothers and sisters there, they’re like family. Mr. Faber has helped me out every single day pretty much going on for the past few months I’ve been there. All the coaches, Alex Munoz, Danny Castillo, Chris Holdsworth, everyone there, so many more to list. All my training partners. It’s been amazing. I’ve been learning so fast and getting better.”
Northcutt spent time at several gyms since beginning his professional MMA career in 2014, initially training out of his native Katy, Texas, before spending some time at the Tristar Gym in Montreal last year. The perpetually grinning karateka appears to have found a team that matches his unwavering optimism.
“I feel like if you’ve ever been at Team Alpha Male, everybody is so positive,” Northcutt said. “The atmosphere is so positive and it kind of takes after the coaches there too, so you think of Mr. Faber being the owner of Team Alpha Male, him being the main coach of Team Alpha Male, how it takes after his personality pretty much. He’s so happy, he’s so outgoing, he’s positive.
“The rate of learning is so incredible and how everything is structured. I think that’s the biggest thing, the structure of the gym. It’s great for me to actually be able to put my time in and actually be at one place and train for the whole camp at the same place.”
With the relationship going swimmingly so far, Northcutt said that he plans to move up to Sacramento and “stay there all the time,” which suggests that his days of exploring different camps is over, at least for now.
Another benefit of making a permanent move to California is the opportunities outside of fighting that have presented themselves to Northcutt. His bodybuilder physique and good looks have made him one of the UFC’s most marketable athletes, and those attributes have not gone unnoticed by Hollywood.
Northcutt recently made some slight changes to his hair to audition for a role in the Creed sequel, playing (who else?) the son of Dolph Lundgren’s menacing, square-jawed Russian character Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
“The new Creed 2 movie is coming out so I actually was going to audition for that, did a little audition tape, so hopefully that goes through and that would be pretty neat, being Ivan Drago’s son in the movie,” Northcutt said. “That would be pretty fun. So I just had the hair a little bit different.”
Unlike Drago, a classic ‘80s movie villain who killed Rocky Balboa’s friend Apollo Creed, Northcutt doesn’t appear capable of having a mean streak. Northcutt was submitted by Mickey Gall in his last fight, and when asked if he felt any satisfaction over seeing Gall lose to Randy Brown at UFC 217 this past Saturday, he instead chose to focus on the growth he’s made since that defeat.
“That doesn’t really work with me like that,” Northcutt said. “If I fought someone previously, I’m not happy to see if they lose, or if they go out there and win, it’s not like a pride thing with me. I was watching how they fight and seeing all the things I could do to them now. Now that I’m getting better and more experienced, and what I can accomplish now that I’m getting all my transitions down and becoming a better fighter.”
Northcutt drops back down to 155 pounds — where he is 3-0 inside the Octagon — to face Michel Quinones on the preliminary card of UFC Norfolk this Saturday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.