While brother combinations have had a long history in MMA going back to the days of the Gracie and Shamrock families, it’s only been recently where brother and sister combos have started to become more common.
“Sage’s work ethic set a good example of what it really is to work hard,” Northcutt told MMAWeekly.com. “Him going from as a pro and to the UFC, it happened so fast and he’s so young, it’s really incredible to see everything in his life change. It’s super-inspiring. He’s actually the one who encouraged me to fight again and go for it.”
Northcutt had participated in amateur MMA for a couple years, but left the sport to focus on college and because she did not see as much opportunity at the UFC level at the time as there is now. Along with her brother’s quick ascension in the sport, Northcutt was inspired by one of the UFC’s biggest stars to make the transition to the pro ranks.
“Instead of going to college right away I took about three and a half years off to just train, and had some amateur fights and won Legacy’s amateur bantamweight belt,” said Northcutt. “Once Ronda (Rousey) got into the UFC, it kind of made me open my eyes and made me want to do this.”
On Friday in Houston, Northcutt (0-0) will take on fellow debuting pro Courtney King (0-0) in a main card 135-pound bout at Legacy Fighting Alliance 14.
“I’ve always been the bigger, taller, person, especially in the 135-pound division, but she’s also tall and a striker like me, and loves to stand up and box and trade with you, which makes me excited because that’s what I love to do as well,” Northcutt said of King. “With two tall strikers, I think it will be a super-exciting fight for everyone to watch. I think it will put on a show for everybody.”
Being the sister of a UFC star, Northcutt knows there are a lot of expectations on her to do well. And while she does feel the pressure of those expectations, she also feeds off of it and uses it to her advantage.
“There’s a whole lot of pressure for sure,” said Northcutt. “There are people I don’t want to let down and expectations I want to meet. But it’s also a motivator knowing I have the pressure and expectations to meet and people I don’t want to let down – it just makes me want to train harder and do the best I can possibly do out there and put on a show for everybody.”
Along with expectations for her fight on June 23, Northcutt knows there is a lot of push to see how far and how fast she travels in the pro MMA ranks, but she is not letting it get to her.
“I’m going to take it one step at a time, one fight at a time, and if opportunities come I’ll go from there,” Northcutt said. “Obviously the goal is to be in the UFC and be the champ – just like everyone else – and that’s the end goal, but for right now I’m just concentrating on this one fight and then take it step by step as it comes.”