Sage Northcutt returned to the win-column with a sound victory over Michel Quinones via unanimous decision at UFC Norfolk.
Whenever Sage Northcutt enters the Octagon, people pay attention. Whether the spotlight is deserved or not, at this point in the 21-year-old’s career, is another discussion entirely. Either way, his fight with Michel Quinones at UFC Norfolk had the opportunity to continue the Northcutt hype-train, or make Quinones the latest fighter to stop him in his tracks.
It was the second career UFC bout for Quinones, who lost his debut to Jared Gordon via second-round TKO at UFC Oklahoma City over the summer. The 32-year-old is 8-2 as a professional, and hoped to even his record in style against a high-profile opponent.
For Northcutt, the bout was his return to lightweight after alternating between 155-pounds and 170-pounds in recent fights. His success in the promotion had come at lightweight, where he was 3-0 coming into Norfolk, and undefeated in his career.
At welterweight, Northcutt has suffered the only two losses of his professinal career, against Bryan Barberena and Mickey Gall. The bout with Quinones was also the first of the year for Northcutt, who was pulled from UFC 211 and UFC 214 due to various injuries.
Northcutt was able to control the pace early in the fight, landing more consistently than Quinones. Neither fighter was able to land anything of note in round one, but Northcutt’s striking and ability to dictate how the fight was fought earned him the 10-9 advantage after one.
“Super” Sage was able to do more of the same in round two, as Quinones was unable to make an impact on the fight. Northcutt landed another late takedown in the second round, after landing from range throughout the second stanza. Without much action from Quinones, Northcutt took a 20-18 lead into round three after looking confident and comfortable in the first 10 minutes.
Quinones was more creative early in the third round, but Northcutt’s stamina and ability to strike from a variety of angles was difficult for the New York-native to overcome. Northcutt controlled the range for the remainder of the fight, looking as good as he ever has in his UFC career.
In a predominantly one-sided fight, Northcutt soundly defeated Michel Quinones to improve to 4-2 in the UFC and 4-0 as a lightweight. It was the most impressive performance of his young career, signaling better things to come.
Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)