With less than two weeks before UFC on Fox 18, Sage Northcutt will have to prepare for a different foe.
The UFC announced on Friday that Northcutt’s original opponent, Andrew Holbrook, has pulled out of the Jan. 30 clash and that Bryan Barberena will take his place. While Holbrook-Northcutt was to be contested at lightweight, the new clash will take place at 170 pounds.
UFC on Fox 18 takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and is headlined by a light heavyweight tilt pitting Anthony Johnson against Ryan Bader. Northcutt-Barberena will air on the Fox-televised main card.
Northcutt has quickly established himself as a promotional favorite since being discovered on the Dana White reality series “Looking for a Fight.” He stopped Francisco Trevino in 57 seconds in his Octagon debut at UFC 192 this past November before submitting Cody Pfister in his sophomore outing at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Dec. 10. The 19-year-old is 7-0 as a professional with all of his victories coming inside the distance.
A native of Minneapolis, the 26-year-old Barberena is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Chad Laprise at UFC 186. His first promotional foray came at UFC on Fox 13, where he earned a third-round technical knockout triumph over Joe Ellenberger.