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Northcutt: Barbarena beating him was a 'fluke deal'

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Sage Northcutt believes he would have beat Bryan Barberena "very quickly" if he hadn't been ill the week of the fight.

Sage Northcutt came into the UFC with a lot of hype, but suffered a big setback when Bryan Barberena handed him his first career loss on a Fox show earlier this year. The 20-year-old returns to the cage at UFC 200 against Enrique Marin, and was a guest on The MMA Hour to promote the bout. In the interview, Northcutt stated that the illness he was suffering from (strep throat) on fight week in January was what made him lose to Barberena. He even said it was a fluke (via MMA Fighting):

"I believe, looking back at my last fight, that was a fluke deal. If I wasn't sick, I believe I would've finished off my opponent very quickly. That's what I go out there and do all the time, is finish off my opponents. I had four knockouts and three submissions, so that's what I'm looking to do for this fight and I'm just excited."

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"Like I said, it was a fluke deal in my last fight," Northcutt said. "I know how that looks, I wasn't my normal self. I'm very explosive, and to go out there, you saw me trip over my own feet and have to fall on the ground. I had to throw that kick after falling, so that wasn't something that I would do. That wasn't being my normal self. I didn't have my normal speed, my normal explosiveness, none of that, and I believe that the people watching can see that.

"So, if I was my normal self, it would've been a different story," he added.

Northcutt has had some recent health scares as well - he spent some time in the hospital due to a MRSA infection. It appears that he is fully recovered from that though. Northcutt and Marin will open the FS1 prelims for the big UFC 200 card on July 9th.