Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight prospects Sage Northcutt and Cody Pfister scrapped last night (Thurs., Dec. 10, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 80 inside "The Cosmopolitan" in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Deserved or not, Northcutt has quickly become a recognizable name. The 19-year-old Karate expert blew through his first opponent, and he was looking for a similar victory against Pfister.
Meanwhile, "The Pfist" had yet to really impress in his pair of UFC fights prior. However, the gritty wrestler was an interesting test for his fellow Texan, and this was a major opportunity for Pfister to stand out.
Instead, he wound up on the wrong side of a highlight reel finish.
Pfister didn't waste any time to start the fight, firing off a looping overhand before scoring with a double leg takedown. For the next two and half minutes, Pfister was active from top position and worked to pass guard.
Despite this, the referee inexplicably chose to stand them up, which gave Northcutt the opportunity to return the favor with his own takedown. From top position, Northcutt worked with some nice elbows and threatened with an arm triangle choke to end the round.
The stand up was complete bullshit, but it allowed Northcutt to turn things around and steal the round.
After being pressured once again, Northcutt reacted with a double leg takedown. This caused a scramble, and Pfister seemed to be winning it. However, he left his neck out while looking for a single leg takedown, and Northcutt pounced.
Despite some awkward positioning along the fence, Northcutt still got a decent angle on the submission. Plus, Pfister didn't really do anything to defend, which allowed "Super Sage" to finish the submission.
This wasn't a bad performance for Northcutt, though some will be unhappy with his early struggles. However, he's still just 19 years old and is far from a finished problem, so the fact that he was able to overcome some adversity is actually a positive.
The weakness that Northcutt really showed is inexperience, which is to be expected. When he was put on his back, Northcutt was too inactive and didn't look to scramble back to his feet. That was the only real flaw in his performance, as Northcutt actually did well in wrestling exchanges with Pfister.
Onward and upward for the prospect, but expectations should be tempered a bit. Could he become a top contender? Definitely. However, that isn't yet the case, and fight fans need to remember that.
In some ways, Pfister exceeded expectations. He found some success with Northcutt and put him in a bad position, which is more than most expected of him.
However, the flaw in Pfister's game became massively obvious early. Simply put, his jiu-jitsu needs a ton of work, and his four submission losses show it. First, he tried to pass the guard very awkwardly, reaching backwards in a risky fashion. Then, he showed nothing from his bottom game, and he even put himself in an arm triangle choke at one point.
Finally, there were plenty of opportunities for Pfister to avoid the guillotine finish. With his opponent's neck jammed into the fence, it shouldn't have even been difficult. Instead, Pfister hung around, barely defending, and allowed Northcutt to adjust and finish.
Not a good showing for "The Pfist."
Last night, Sage Northcutt overcame some adversity to submit Cody Pfister. How high can the young athlete climb?
For complete UFC Fight Night 80 "VanZant vs Namajunas" results and play-by-play, click HERE!