January 28, 2016

UFC’s Sage Northcutt Push Continues At UFC on FOX 18

By Adam Martin

If you’re a UFC fan, then you’ve obviously heard about Sage Northcutt.

The 19-year-old super prospect from Texas is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster, but also one of the promotion’s fastest-rising stars. Since joining the UFC late last year, Northcutt is 2-0 in the UFC with stoppage victories over Cody Pfister and Francisco Trevino. In his young career he is 7-0, with all seven of his victories coming by way of knockout or submission, five in the first round.

Not only can Northcutt fight, but he also has the “look” to be a superstar in the sport. He’s a good-looking kid and the UFC isn’t shy about marketing him that way. He’s also excellent on social media and a great talker in interviews. He truly has the world at his feet, and if he can stay disciplined and not succumb to the celebrity lifestyle, he really could be a title challenger sooner than we all think.
After his first UFC fight, a TKO win over Trevino which took place on the UFC 192 preliminary card, the UFC saw the rise in his popularity and gave him a push to the main card for his second UFC fight against Pfister at UFC Fight Night 80. But that bout was on UFC Fight Pass, and only subscribers to that service could watch the bout, which limited his exposure.

The UFC has finally come to their senses, and this weekend at UFC on FOX 18, Northcutt gets some mainstream love when he opens up the FOX card against short-notice opponent Bryan Barberena. It’s a massive opportunity for Northcutt, who could fight in front of millions of viewers. If he has an impressive performance, something that he is fully capable of doing, his star power could explode. He certainly has the skills and the look, and if he can perform on the big stage, it would be massive for his career.

It would also be huge for the UFC, who is desperate for superstars right now. The UFC has Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor as its top superstars, and a collection of secondary stars, but the promotion needs more superstars. At 19, and just a few fights into his UFC career, obviously Northcutt isn’t close to being in that conversation just yet. But it’s a huge opportunity to put his name out there for new fans who might not know him yet, and if he scores an impressive win against a highly beatable opponent in Barberena, it would be big for Northcutt and for the UFC, who could place him on more high-profile cards.

Yes, there is a segment of the MMA fanbase who thinks Northcutt is a douche, but those people are mostly jealous that this young, good-looking kid with seemingly no worries is so successful at what he does. Personally, I think Northcutt is exactly what the sport needs right now: A young, talented fighter with all kinds of potential to do so much in this sport. And I’m excited to see what he can do with this massive opportunity he’s getting this weekend.

The UFC has truly found something special in Northcutt, and is giving him the chance to display his talents on the big stage for the very first time. It’s all up to Northcutt now to do what he does best, and that’s finish his opponents in the cage. A win over Barberena at UFC on FOX 18, especially a dominant knockout or slick submission, will help him explode as a star in the sport, and for the UFC, who is desperate for them. Now let’s see what he does with this opportunity.

UFC on Fox 18
Sage Northcutt vs. Bryan Barberena

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UFC on FOX 18: Johnson vs. Bader takes place on January 30, 2016 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC on Fox 18 will be.

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