Zak Ottow was expecting a call from the UFC. What he wasn’t expecting was the name he heard on the other end of the line.
A few months removed from his first-round TKO of longtime MMA veteran Mike Pyle at UFC 222, the next opponent the UFC had in mind for him seemed almost too good to be true. How about Sage Northcutt at UFC Fight Night 133 in Boise this Saturday night, the offer went.
Ottow (16-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) didn’t even have to think about it.
“I said yes right away,” Ottow told MMAjunkie. “No hesitation at all. Of course I’m familiar with the kid. Everyone in the UFC is familiar with him. And honestly, I love that style matchup.”
But there was something else, too. For one thing, Ottow was surprised. He fights at welterweight, where Northcutt (10-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is winless in two tries with the UFC. Seeing as how Northcutt’s unbeaten down at lightweight, Ottow was stunned to hear that he wanted to go back up in weight and try again at 170 pounds rather than staying put where he’d been most successful.
“I didn’t even think this fight would be on the table, to tell you the truth,” Ottow said. “He wasn’t even on my radar. I don’t know if he thinks he’s getting too big for (lightweight) as he gets older, or maybe he just likes being the smaller, faster guy, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for him. I’m going to keep the trend going for him at welterweight.”
For Ottow, the fight represents a rare opportunity. So far in his UFC career he’s mostly been relegated to the prelims or on the main cards of lesser-known Fight Night events. It’s tough to break out and get noticed when the masses might not even see your fight or care all that much about who you’re fighting.
“He’s probably the most popular fighter I’ve ever fought,” Ottow said. “He’s got a good following, so it’s a good chance for me to fight high up on a card and have a lot of fans watching so they can see what I can do.”
It also helps that Ottow isn’t exactly a fan of Northcutt’s whole boy next door routine. Like the rest of us, Ottow has seen Northcutt doing flips, flexing on Instagram, riding around on a Segway while dropping “yes sirs” and “no sirs” to every question he’s asked. Ottow doesn’t buy it.
“I don’t know the kid well enough, but to me it doesn’t seem genuine,” Ottow said. “It’s rare that I find someone who I don’t like going into a fight. And it’s not that I don’t like him, but I’m not one of those people that’s a fan of him. From the beginning, I just don’t buy into this whole thing he’s doing. He seems weird to me. His interviews are weird. I don’t think any of it is coming from a genuine place. I won’t mind punching him in the face at all.”
- Daily Debate results: Will Daniel Cormier's final two fights include Jon Jones?
- An artist sculpted Conor McGregor for his 30th birthday, and that's not even the weirdest part
- Prosecutors add two charges to Nick Diaz domestic violence case
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Sage Northcutt is 'weird,' Zak Ottow says, so he won't mind punching him at UFC Boise