Once upon a time, the Ultimate Fighting Championship put considerable promotional muscle behind Sage Northcutt.
Earlier this year, however, the Las Vegas-based organization parted ways with the 23-year-old Katy, Texas, despite a 6-2 record in the Octagon. “Super” Sage then signed with One Championship, but an inauspicious debut saw him suffer a knockout loss to Cosmo Alexandre that necessitated a nine-hour surgery to repair a eight fractures in his face.
“His face is reconstructed,” Team Alpha Male coach Urijah Faber told TMZ after the procedure. “They cut through his hairline. They went through four different places, they went through his mouth, through his eye. Cut his hairline and peeled it back over his face. If anybody wants to doubt the toughness of Sage Northcutt, look no further.”
While Northcutt just turned 23 in March, UFC president Dana White believes he should choose another career path instead of risking another potentially debilitating injury.
“I would really like to see Sage Northcutt retire,” White recently told TSN. “I hope he does. Good looking, charismatic kid, smart. He was an engineer, taking college to be an engineer. He’s got a lot going on in his life. This isn’t the sport for him. I don’t want to sound like I’m s——ing all over the guy, because I really like the kid a lot, but this isn’t the sport for him. I would love to see him retire before he seriously gets hurt.”
White admitted that Northcutt does have some tools to succeed in MMA, but unlike some others who compete out of necessity, the ex-UFC fighter has other options.
“Yeah [I don’t think he’s good enough],” White said. “It’s not that the kid doesn’t have some talent. He does have some talent. This isn’t the sport for him. He needs to retire. Hopefully the people that surround him listen to what I’m saying and set this kid on another path in life, because he can literally do whatever he wants to do. He’s young, he’s smart. Some people have to fight. Sage Northcutt doesn’t have to fight.”
Northcutt earned his first victory in the Octagon at 19 years old, stopping Francisco Trevino in 57 seconds at UFC 192. He was matched carefully early in his career, earning additional victories over the likes of Cody Pfister, Enrique Marin, Michel Quinones, Thibault Gouti and Zak Ottow. White believes his decision to part ways with Northcutt was justified, and he claims there is always sound logic behind the organization’s decision to release any fighter.
“We took him in so young. We brought the kid in so young and tried to give him some fights to help build,” White said. “When I let guys go, I let guys go for a reason. If I think a guy has the potential to be the best in the world or is the best in the world, they’re not going anywhere no matter what number anyone throws at them. I’m going to keep what I believe to be the best guys in the world. And when I let you go, look back and see how many times I’ve been wrong when I let somebody go.”