Sage Northcutt is set to take on only his second UFC fight on Thursday night, but the fast-rising newcomer already has some bold goals in mind. In fact, he plans on breaking Jon Jones' record of being the youngest UFC champion ever.
"What I am looking at is a long-term thing," Northcutt told MMAFighting.com at Tuesday's open workouts. "I'm trying to have not only as many fights as I can right now, because you don't know when the end of your career could be, but also to be able to hopefully be the UFC champion one day, and I'd like to be the youngest."
Jones was 23 when he beat Mauricio Rua for the belt in 2011, so the 19-year old Northcutt has four years left to accomplish his goal.
The young Texan made his successful UFC debut in October, when he stopped Francisco Trevino in the first round at UFC 192. He is unbeaten in six professional fights, also went unbeaten as an amateur kickboxer and is a 77-time karate world champion. But still, Northcutt feels he has a lot to learn and wants to take his time before facing on of the sport's top fighters.
"Actually I would like to take one fight at a time", he said. "[I'm not] rushing anything. Obviously I don't wanna go out there -- not wanting to, sure I'd love to -- but not going out there and fight the top-ten guys right now. Or anybody up there, the number one guy, the champion. Because I still have a lot to learn."
On Thursday, he has to get past Cody Pfister in his first UFC main-card appearance at UFC Fight Night 80. The event takes place in Las Vegas, NV, and is headlined by a strawweight bout between fellow hot newcomer Paige VanZant and Rose Namajunas.