Teenage mixed martial arts (MMA) dynamo -- and current undefeated (6-0) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight super prospect -- Sage Northcutt plans to return to the Firas Zahabi-led Tristar mixed martial arts (MMA) gym after pulling up stakes sooner than expected.
"It looks like after my fight on Dec. 10, I'll be going back there and staying for a few weeks to train at Tristar and then coming back here (Katy, Texas) for a few weeks," Northcutt recently told MMAmania.com.
The "Super" one headed north to get a feel for the facility and to get in some work with Welterweight stalwarts Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald, among others, to help prepare for his upcoming showdown with Cody Pfister at UFC Fight Night 80, which will take place inside "The Cosmopolitan" in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week.
And from the sound of it, both sides seemed to have mutual respect for each other.
Though Northcutt didn't do any sparring, the ex-Karate champion was able to learn some moves on the mat courtesy of the "technical" duo of "Rush" and "Red King."
"When I do go back there after my fight, I believe I can learn a lot there. I think there's a lot of good people to train with and a lot of good training partners for sure," Northcutt said.
For now, Northcutt needs to hit the books with final exams looming -- he's a petroleum engineering major at Texas A&M University -- and generally doing things most "normal" college kids do, like playing with a taser and crumbling innocent frying pans.
Following his blistering knockout of Francisco Trevino just two months ago, Northcutt is poised to impress in his sophomore effort inside the Octagon when he collides with Pfister on UFC Fight Pass. His debut win (video) -- and seal of approval from UFC President Dana White, as well as other prominent former and current fighters -- has garnered him a lot of attention.
Perhaps a bit too much, waking up some of the lions in the 155-pound den.
"All I have to really say about that is, obviously these guys are in the UFC. I don't know who these guys are, but I think they just really need to worry about making sure they do good in their fights and stay in the UFC," Northcutt said. "I know that the UFC just cut a bunch of fighters. I don't know why they'd be going down the list toward the bottom of the list, if they have more fights and been in the UFC longer ... they're just going after someone who just has one fight."
Dialing back his coursework has helped Northcutt become a more explosive beast inside the cage. And he plans on making frequent trips to it in 2016, while also setting the bar high.
"I would like to have a lot of fights. If I was able to fight every single month -- and walk out without an injury -- I'd like to do that every single month if I can," Northcutt said. "I believe I can be the UFC champ and I would like to take my time ... one fight at a time to work my way up there. I would also like to do the UFC fighting, but I'd also like to use this as a platform to do more movies, commercials and maybe some modeling."
Look out, Ronda Rousey -- and even Conor McGregor -- there's another young MMA gun looking for some Hollywood love.
For the complete UFC Fight Night 80: "Namajunas vs. VanZant" card, click here.