The siblings hope to find similar success to ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee and his sister, ONE Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, and the next step toward that goal will come at the Singapore Indoor Stadium when Colbey takes on Indonesia’s Putri “Ami” Padmi in a flyweight bout at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS.
As a 36-time karate World Champion, Colbey has all the striking skills to excel on the global stage, and she has an elite team behind her to power her on the global stage.
Ahead of her promotional debut at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the 26-year-old reveals her martial arts origins, and how she was molded into an elite competitor who has all the tools to succeed in ONE Championship.
Martial arts is in Northcutt’s blood. Her father Mark is a black belt in shuri-ryu karate, and he got his children involved in the family business as soon as they were old enough to begin training.
Colbey started learning under her father’s tutelage at 7 years old while her brother Sage followed closely behind when he was 4.
Colbey quickly rose up the ranks in sport karate and kickboxing as she traveled with her parents and her siblings across the globe as they sought to compete against the best martial artists in the world.
“That’s pretty much all we did,” Northcutt says. “We were very fortunate and very blessed to have parents that spent all of their time and money on us competing and traveling all over the world.
“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.
“We were training, we were competing on the weekends, and we were with each other – it was a lot of fun.”
Martial Artist’s Sacrifice
Because she spent so much time training and competing, Northcutt did not have a traditional maturation from adolescence into adulthood.
She did not get to enjoy many of the typical exploits of a high school student in the United States – including her prom – because she was always so focused on martial arts, as well as her education.
“I look back sometimes like, ‘What would that have been like?’ I was in Mexico and I was competing in a tournament,” the Texas native explains.
“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.”
Once she graduated high school, Northcutt was faced with a tough decision. At the time, women did not have the same opportunities in combat sports as men, so she decided to focus on college – though martial arts remained a big part of her life.
“When I was 18, I just graduated high school, I was contemplating going to college or fighting professionally,” she explains.
“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.
“I always wanted to be a professional fighter, but in the beginning, I had that uncertainty if I could make enough money doing it. Fast forward now and everything we can do is just amazing.”
While her brother entered the professional ranks and began competing at the highest levels of the sport at the same time as he studied, Colbey took a different path but eventually she was able to live out the same dream once she turned her attention to mixed martial arts full-time.
Test Of Character
Following a successful career in sport karate, as well as a successful run in amateur mixed martial arts, Northcutt entered the sport‘s professional ranks in 2017.
Her career did not start the way she wanted, as she suffered a rare loss via second-round TKO. It was a result that made her question her future in the sport, but in the end, it strengthened her resolve.
“My first professional loss, that would definitely be the most difficult moment for me [in martial arts],” Northcutt admits.
“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?’
“I never wanted to feel like that again, so I was going to make a change. I’m really, really happy that it happened. I wasn’t happy at the time that, but now I’m very grateful for it now.”
The changes she made included a move from Texas to California where she began training under a new set of coaches. She expects the results to show on 22 November.
“I’m with a whole new camp this fight. I’m with the Treigning Lab for this fight, so I’m with coach Mark Munoz, Sam Calavitta, where T.J. Dillashaw trains, Juan Archuleta – my husband Raymond [Daniels] is up there as well,” she says.
“I’m under new supervision, a completely new camp, and it’s going to be a whole different Colbey that everybody is going to see out there.”
Going For Gold
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It’s Monday here in Singapore, which means IT’S FIGHT WEEK!!!!! As a fighter, there’s no greater feeling like reaching fight week knowing all the hard work has paid off… other than getting your hand raised of course ???? Only 4 more days until I make my @onechampionship debut and it couldn’t be here soon enough! Tune in on the ONE Championship app to watch LIVE! #ONEChampionship #ONE #WeAreOne #Singapore #Northcutt #WMMA #flyweight #EdgeofGreatness
As she prepares to make her ONE debut, Northcutt is already aiming high. Having seen the success of the Lee family, her long-term goal is to win a World Title with her brother.
Because she has such an extensive background in striking, she would also like to cross over to the ONE Super Series kickboxing ranks, but right now, her sole focus is on mixed martial arts.
“ONE Championship doesn’t have a current titleholder in mixed martial arts in the flyweight class, so I would love — in the next few years and several fights — to become their first women’s flyweight mixed martial arts champion,” she says.
In addition, the 26-year-old would also love the chance to share the global stage with “Super” Sage after they spent so many years competing alongside each other as kids.
“Oh my gosh, obviously, I would love that,” Northcutt says.
“I know he’s out [injured] for a little bit, but we talked about it before his last fight. My goal is to be where he’s at, and we could be on the same card.”