After scouring the UFC’s archived content to research his short-notice opponent on Sunday, Chris Wade has a bigger fish in mind for his next Octagon appearance.
Wade, who submitted Mehdi Baghdad with a rear-naked choke in the first round at UFC Fight Night Boston, is now quietly 4-0 within the Las Vegas-based promotion. To further raise his profile, Wade has his sights set on one of the UFC’s golden boys.
“I want Sage Northcutt next,” Wade said shortly after his latest triumph. “Give him to me Dana.”
Northcutt figures to be a popular call-out in the coming months, given the heavy promotional push he has received since making his UFC debut this past October. Most recently, Northcutt pocketed $80,000 for a victory over Cody Pfister in his second Octagon appearances at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Dec. 10, an unheard-of number for such an unproven commodity.
Of course, Northcutt is presently booked, as he will face the unbeaten Andrew Holbrook at UFC on Fox 18 on Jan. 30. The fight will be on the evening’s main card, the most prominent placement yet for the Katy, Texas, native.
If Wade keeps going the way he has, it could soon be difficult to keep the Ring of Combat veteran away from bigger matchups in the future. When scheduled foe Mairbek Taisumov had to withdraw from their clash earlier in the week due to visa issues, Wade, himself a replacement for Beniel Dariush, made the best possible use of the resources at hand to prepare for Baghdad.
“I didn’t know of Mehdi before my last opponent fell off and I got the call about the replacement,” Wade said. “I searched all over the Internet to find what I could on him but wasn’t having much luck. Then my camp told me he was on the last season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ so I used Fight Pass to research and game plan the best I could with about a week’s notice.”
That studying paid off, as Wade dominated position throughout and peppered his foe with punches on the mat before ultimately securing the fight-ending submission at the 4:30 mark of round one.
“The intent was to go in and use my ground-and-pound and get him to roll over. I knew when I got my hook in and bellied him up to the fence I’d be able to submit him as soon as he turned over,” Wade said.