Sage Northcutt was able to outpoint Thibault Gouti tonight at UFC Fight Night 126 in Texas thanks to his busier work on the feet.
Northcutt putting together a few straight lefts and rights to start. Hard right hand for Gouti though. Northcutt eats it and then drives into a solid takedown.
Northcutt in side control in the center of the Octagon. Gouti trying to keep Northcutt tight to him and hope for a stand-up. Northcutt looking to keep busy though and after making some space lands a hard elbow and more punches behind it.
Gouti manages to get back to the feet. Northcutt working some kicks and lands a good one upstairs. Northcutt gets caught with a punch and is rocked by that. He leaves his neck exposed and Gouti goes for a guillotine choke. Northcutt recovers well though and then defends a takedown attempt.
Northcutt lands a knee to the body and gets his back away from the cage. Gouti looking to swing for the fences. Northcutt with a spinning kick.
Body punch for Gouti and a punch to the head in return from Northcutt. Front kick to the body for Northcutt and then Gouti drives in for a takedown that’s stuffed.
Gouti trying to press the action, but Northcutt is trying to keep him at bay with straight punches. He goes in for a takedown, but Gouti stays away from that one.
Northcutt starts the second working off the jab as Gouti marches forward. Head kick attempt from Gouti misses. Flying knee attempt from Northcutt comes up just short.
Punch lands for Gouti and Northcutt attempts a takedown that doesn’t work out. Solid left hook for Gouti. Now an oblique kick.
Left hand connects for Gouti and then a piston right hand behind it that puts Northcutt down against the cage. Gouti in half-guard and working hard to keep Northcutt from using the cage to stand back up.
Northcutt up to one knee and then stands as his hometown crowd cheers him on. Gouti staying with the body lock though and brings him back down.
Not much offense from Gouti, but he’s working hard to keep his opponent down. Heading toward the final minute of the round Northcutt is able to stand and soon after the ref decides to seperate the two fighters.
Nice punch from Northcutt and a leg kick. Body kick for Gouti. Nice left hand from Northcutt. Spinning head kick attempt from Northcutt to end the round.
Side kick to the leg from Northcutt. Another lands and then one to the face. Gouti complains to the referee and there’s a brief stoppage for reasons that aren’t clear. Potentially an eye poke from a foot strike?
They quickly get back to it though and Northcutt is back to throwing side kicks to the legs. Punch and a leg kick behind it. He’s keeping busy this round, then tries for a takedown, but Gouti escapes it.
Gouti wading in with big left hands, but doesn’t connect. However, he closes the distance in the process and then lands a takedown against the cage.
Northcutt able to stand without Gouti doing anything meaningful from the position, but is able to bring him back to the mat again.
Again Northcutt stands and again Gouti puts him down. Northcutt gets to his knees and lands a few short elbows to the head. Still no offense from Gouti on the mat and Northcutt continues chipping away with elbows.
Northcutt tries for a potential guillotone choke as he looks to stay busy and then instead opts to stand up. Gouti still keeping the body lock, but the ref has seen enough and separates them.
Northcutt back to kicks and then looks for a takedown of his own. Nothing doing, but he drives Gouti to the cage. Northcutt moves away with a hard elbow. He tries for a flying knee.
Punches behind thrown and Northcutt gets in on a takedown attempt and it doesn’t work out. Gouti clinches up and holds down Northcutt’s head, but again is showing a real lack of striking offense when he’s grappling.
Final seconds of the round and Northcut tries for a cartwheel kick that doesn’t pay off, so we’re headed to the scorecards.
The judges have made their decision and it’s Northcutt who emerges with a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3) – a result that will surely leave Gouti rueing his passive grappling work over the course of the contest.