Up until getting choked out by Bryan Barberena at UFC on FOX 18 earlier this year (see it), Sage Northcutt was sitting pretty with an immaculate 7-0 mixed martial arts (MMA) record, including his dazzling Octagon debut against Francisco Trevino and impressive sophomore win against Cody Pfister.
At first glance, it would appear the young phenom and his coaching staff -- spearheaded by his father Mark -- have an effective training system in place.
According to one of "Super's" training partners, Muay Thai champion Ilya Grad, papa Northcutt has a style of coaching that doesn't sit too well with the rest of the gym.
In fact, during their most recent and perhaps final training session together, Grad knew he had seen enough to call Mark the "worst coach he has ever seen" and advised Sage to boot his dad from his camps if he wants to go places.
Ilya took to Instagram to vent his frustrations:
@supersagenorthcutt came in for sparring today preparing for UFC 200. I want to say something nice about the kid but oh my what a disaster it was. His dad is probably the worst coach I've seen in my life. He walks around talking shit from the start like we owe him something, then he interrupting his real coach during the rounds and gives poor Sage negative pet talk in between! Then at the 3rd round when I was just warming up and started pushing the pace they accused me of trying to hurt him and retired him from sparring! - When I train someone for a fight I want to put them in difficult situations, as you would in a real fight but these clowns just want him to do well and when he doesn't they accused me of some shit and made a scene! Never have I seen such bad coaching in my life! You have great potential kid, If you smart tell your dad to stay away from your fight camp so you could actually get some training done! Good luck for 200 ✌️
What happens in the gym, doesn't always stay in the gym.
Interestingly enough, when Firas Zahabi was courting Sage to become a full-fledged member of the infamous TriStar gym in Canada, he knew he and his father -- who has been training Sage all his life -- would have many discussions regarding what's best for the young fighter.
After Mark expressed concerns over TriStar's intense regimen, he yanked Sage from proven camp -- at least temporarily -- and brought him back down to Texas to continue his training.
Team Northcutt will look to bounce back into the win column as Sage is booked to face Enrique Marin on the undercard of the upcoming UFC 200 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which is set to go down from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 9, 2016.
For more on that monumental event click here.