Colbey Northcutt comes from a family of fighters. Her brother Sage Northcutt has fought for both the UFC and ONE Championship and her father holds a black belt in karate.

She has been training and competing for nearly as long as she can remember,

“We competed in tournaments everywhere from Russia, to Ireland, to Croatia, to Italy, everywhere they could think of to take us to. We didn’t have a typical childhood where we got to go hang out with our friends on the weekend and go to parties and things like that.”

She even missed her own high school prom because she was busy competing in South America,

“I look back sometimes like, ‘What would that have been like?’ I was in Mexico and I was competing in a tournament, (but) I wouldn’t change all of those things and I’m super, super grateful we didn’t have that normal childhood that everybody has growing up.”

Difficult dilemma

Her brother Sage was on a fast track to success and made his UFC debut at the age of 21. For a female fighter there were few financial certainties and Northcutt admits she considered walking away from the sport to focus on her education,

“I was contemplating going to college or fighting professionally. At the time, women weren’t making a lot of money, so I didn’t know if I could make a career out of it or if I needed to go to school. I spent the next few years having some amateur fights and training a whole lot. I did end up going back to school for a few years and I did get my degree.”

In 2019 Northcutt followed in her brother’s footsteps by signing for ONE Championship. She was returning to competitive MMA two years after suffering defeat on her professional debut.

It was a setback that hit Northcutt hard,

“My first professional loss, that would definitely be the most difficult moment for me. It kind of made me sit back and reflect on what I was doing wrong and what can I do to improve. Obviously, I know it was my first fight, but it was like, ‘Do I really want to do this?’,” she recalls.

Winning ways

At ONE: ‘Edge of Greatness’ the 27 year old was able to get back to winning ways. She scored a unanimous decision victory over Putri Padmi in Singapore.

She thinks going the distance on her promotional debut was the perfect way to shake off the ring rust,

“I would’ve loved to have gotten the finish, but that was the first time I had ever gone the full 15 minutes. And, after two and a half years off, I felt fantastic. It could not have gone any better, and I feel great. I’m very happy about my performance.”

However Northcutt admits she was surprised to see her opponent still standing at the final bell,

“I knew she was going to be tough, but I was cracking her hard. I was hitting her really hard and she was taking some shots. That was a pretty tight triangle I had on her I had her arm extended, and she was really tough. She had a lot of heart and did not want to give up. She surprised me with that aspect, but everything else panned out the way I had planned.”

Successful siblings 

Sibling due Angela Lee and Christian Lee currently hold ONE Championship titles. It is an achievement which is unlikely to ever be replicated.

But Northcutt would settle for the opportunity to fight on the same card as her brother,

“ONE Championship has Angela and Christian Lee, and they are brother and sister. We’re the second brother-sister duo in the league. I think to be able to fight alongside Sage would be a dream come true for both of us.”

ONE Championship has yet to crown a women’s flyweight champion. Northcutt could well be a contender for the crown, particularly if she can consolidate her position among the division’s elite with a second successive win.

With everything on hold due to the coronavirus, or Covid-19, situation there’s no way of knowing when Northcutt will be back in action. But after a successful ONE Championship debut she will be looking to become the first member of her family to win a title in MMA.