Sage Northcutt is walking about of Texas with a surprise unanimous decision victory over France’s Thibault Gouti.
The two touched gloves. Sage hit the Frenchman with a punch and kick, but Gouti hit back.
Sage then took Thibault down and held him in side control. He hit Gouti with a couple of light punches and looked like he was trying to get to knee on belly.
Northcutt got a couple of elbows in and Gouti tried to roll out. Sage got right back on him, though and landed a few more strikes.
The two were back up. Sage threw a head kick and then went for a takedown again. This time, he got caught and almost got choked, but he freed his head.
Thibault pressed Northcutt against the cage. Northcutt looked comfortable, though, and hit his opponent with some elbows.
The two went back to the center of the cage. Sage almost took the Frenchman’s head off with a spinning back kick, but he was well out of range. Northcutt stayed light on his feet in a karate stance, keeping his opponent away with some light jabs.
Gouti chased Sage around the perimeter at the beginning of Round 2. When Thibault got a little too close, Northcutt tried to take him down with a single leg, but couldn’t.
Thibault charged in and hit Sage with a nice jab, then took him down against the cage. Gouti was in Northcutt’s half guard, then he held both of his legs down and tried to move to full mount. Thibault couldn’t land any strikes, though, and Sage worked his way back up.
Gouti, however, landed another takedown against the cage. Again, he struggled to keep Sage down as Northcutt hit him with some elbows to the body.
Sage worked his way up again, but Thibault continued to press his opponent up against the cage.
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The referee broke the two up and put them in the center of the cage. Immediately they started trading punches. Sage again went to the perimeter, bobbing, weaving, and staying light on this feet.
Northcutt closed the round with two missed spinning back kicks.
An early groin strike from Sage stopped the third round temporarily, but the two were back at it in seconds. Northcutt looked as energetic as ever, peppering his opponent with punches and kicks before moving away.
Thibault, however, landed yet another takedown against the cage and again tried to hold his opponent down as Sage landed some elbows to the body.
Northcutt worked his way up twice, but was taken down twice. After minutes of being pressed up against the cage, the referee broke the two up.
Sage immediately went for a takedown, but couldn’t get anything. He landed a nice punch before Thibault could get away, though.
Northcutt went for another takedown, but again failed. Thibault held him in a front headlock before the match came to a close.
Despite the multiple takedowns, the judges awarded Sage Northcutt the unanimous decision victory.