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Sage Northcutt's dad refutes claims of poor coaching advice

Sage Northcutt's dad, Mark Northcutt, recently fired back at Ilya Grad's comments about him being the 'worst coach' he's ever seen.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Israeli Muay Thai champion and sparring partner of Sage Northcutt, Ilya Grad, made a post on social media claiming that Northcutt's dad is the worst MMA coach he's ever seen.

@supersagenorthcutt came in for sparring today preparing for UFC 200. I want to say something nice because he's a great kid but oh my what a disaster it was. His dad is probably the worst coach I've seen in my life. He walks around talking shit, interrupting his real coach during the rounds and gives poor Sage negative pet talk in between! Then at the 3rd round when I was just warming up they accused me of trying to hurt him and retired him from sparring! - I was shocked they pulled him out only 10 minutes into sparring as I was working really clean and even let him off the hook to create space when he needed to. Never have I seen such bad coaching in my life! You have great potential kid, If you smart tell your dad to stay away from your fight camp so you could actually get some training done! Good luck for 200 ✌️

A photo posted by Ilya Grad (@ilyagrad) on

Grad, 28, said that Sage's father Mark was constantly interrupting sparring sessions and giving his son negative pep talks in between rounds.

The Texan responded to Grad shortly after, stating that everything posted on Instagram was completely untrue.

"Everything that Ilya made in this post is completely untrue," Mark said, per Mike Drahota of Low Kick MMA. "First off, we get there and Ilya says, "Oh my neck's hurt, I really can't spar, why don't we just do some light drills?" When Sage's coach said that was okay, we'll go back on our side of town and train, he just said "Well, okay, I'll go ahead and spar.

"From the first few seconds of sparring, Ilya is complaining about Sage the entire time saying "don't hit so hard, tone it down" and Sage is maybe going 30% and not even throwing any kicks to speak of. For Ilya to say that he was there to teach Sage is a complete lie - that guy couldn't teach Sage anything and he moved around like a robot with his feet in quicksand. We came over there because Sage's Gracie coach said that he was a world champ in Muay Thai and would be glad to spar 100% - and him wanting to spar 100% was the farthest thing from the truth."

Sage's 17-year-old brother, Shaun Northcutt, also backed up his father and said Grad wasted everyone's time with the training session.

"Ilya said Sage's dad was talking crap from the start, that's a joke. What his dad said was if that guy knew his own neck was hurting, which one one believed, he should have called Sage and canceled everyone driving all the way across town and kept them from wasting their time. Him saying he was acting like everyone owed him something? That's also stupid. No one acted like that, we simply thought Sage was going over to spar with some world Muay Thai champion, so why is he giving Sage a bunch of excuses and whining?"

Northcutt, who lost his first professional fight after being tapped out by underdog Bryan Barberena at UFC on FOX 18, will look to spring back into the winners column and regain his momentum on July 9.

The 20-year-old sensation fights Enrique Marin on the preliminary card of UFC 200, which marks the UFC's debut show at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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