ROUNDTABLE: Is losing Sage Nortcutt to ONE a big loss for UFC?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Sage Northcutt (photo credit Troy Taormina © USA Today Sports)

Is the Sage Northcutt to ONE Championship signing a big loss for UFC? Should they have done more to keep him?

Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner

Sage Northcutt is one of the most overrated fighters in history.

“He’s young, he’s got plenty of time to get better and work on his game.”

“It’s his father’s fault.”

“This kid is a star!”

One B.S. line after another with this guy. Nothing but excuses from his fans. The truth is, he is not good enough to go anywhere in the UFC and they cut dead weight with a smile.

All of these fighters going over to ONE better realize that fighters are HUNGRY and looking to make a name for themselves; former UFC fighters will have huge targets on their backs.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s a loss in that they lost a prospect, they lost someone who has a good amount of potential. I would call that a big loss in the sense of they don’t exactly have a ton of big stars right now. Not that Northcutt is a big star or anything, but when you’re hurting for talent, you should try to keep who you can. Overall, this is a tiny blip but it does matter.

Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor

No, I don’t think so. Sage was originally supposed to be the next big thing, and he got beat a couple times, and then he was just kinda there. I don’t think it’s a loss because he at this point is a rebounding prospect. I think if he does well in ONE, we’ll see him back in the UFC in a couple years.


Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

I think Sage Northcutt feels like a bust because the hype was so strong when UFC first brought him in. Northcutt’s first UFC fights were just as Conor McGregor was becoming a superstar and fans may have been expecting him to follow a similar career trajectory. His second UFC fight was part the “Paige and Sage” Fight Pass event two days before McGregor fought Jose Aldo at UFC 194. Northcutt may not have lived up to those lofty expectations, but what he did do was make a difference in TV ratings for shows he was a part of. Fighters who cam move TV numbers without being top-level stars are rare, and for that reason, Northcutt was quite valuable to UFC. UFC likely recognized this but may have been priced out by ONE, who seem to have an open cheque book right now. The prudent move for UFC may have been the one they made, and that’s let ONE spend their money on developing Sage Northcutt, and when that money eventually dries up, pick him back up as a more seasoned fighter ready for high-level competition.

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