Sage Northcutt has a chance to finally show he is the next big thing in MMA under ONE Championship banner
A multiple-time karate world champion, Northcutt is looking to make the most of his opportunity with ONE.
At one point, Sage Northcutt was considered the literal golden boy of the UFC. He had the look, the skills and everything else a company could ask for. Now, a new chapter in his life has begun as one of the key figures of ONE Championship. With a new move may bring a new form of confidence for the 23-year-old.
Northcutt (11-2) started off his UFC career with a literal bang at age 19, when he knocked out Francisco Trevino at UFC 192 in 57 seconds. He was 6-2 in the UFC in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Sage’s last bout was a second-round KO win against Zak Ottow at UFC Fight Night 133. During his run, I previously stated he could be the future of the UFC and all of MMA. On a three-fight win streak following a “future v. future” loss against Mickey Gall at UFC on Fox 22, Dana White stated that the UFC would not renew his contract. Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, White cited the fact that he is a bit green as the reason why.
“Sage is young, and Sage needs some work,” Dana stated. “Let him get some work in some other organizations, and we will see where this kid ends up in a couple of years. Maybe we will pick him back up again.”
With a streak like his along with his age, Northcutt seemed like a hot commodity for any organization. ONE Championship saw what he could become, signing him to an exclusive deal. The UFC did not match the company on their offer, making Sage’s choice simple.
Sage has 77 Karate World Titles, and his performances have shown how balanced he is in his form. One of the key reasons he joined ONE was for a true opportunity to show his worth. Another factor was how ONE felt as an organization in general.
“You don’t see fighters in ONE Championship talking smack or talking bad about each other. I think that’s a big thing, that everybody has respect for each other and they understand what it takes to go out there and perform,” Northcutt stated at a U.S. media scrum. “I’m very appreciative of the fans who want to see fighters give a great performance and give it their all. Coming over to ONE Championship, I’m looking forward to meeting all the new fans. I’m young, I’m only 22 years old. I can envision myself in the future being a World Champion in multiple sports like Muay Thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts.”
In regards to kickboxing, Northcutt is 17-0. All he needs to do is hone his craft, which might not be as hard as some think. Sage’s arsenal could be deadly if performed correctly. He will look to join fellow UFC alumni Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez as fighters worth talking about with ONE.
Sage faces fellow kickboxer Cosmo Alexandre (7-1 MMA, 69-19 kickboxing) on May 17th at a Singapore event. In two bouts for ONE, Alexandre is 1-1. While the 36-year-old hasn’t fought since 2016, perhaps this is the fight Northcutt needs. The path to the top is not always easy, just like the ladder he needs to climb.
There is still hope that the Texas-born fighter can manage to hold it all together. In a new atmosphere, perhaps this is where the real Sage Northcutt comes out to play.
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