21-Year-Old UFC Lightweight 8-2-0
April 5, 2017 Sage Northcutt News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Northcutt is scheduled to undergo surgery next week to have his tonsils removed and plans to return to action in July, MMAFighting.com reports.
Northcutt has dealt with ongoing strep throat issues since his loss to Bryan Barberena in Jan. 2016, so this procedure is expected to provide a long-term correction. Following the surgery, Northcutt will have to wait four weeks before he's able to resume training, and according to his father Mark, that would land him with a tentative July return date. The 21-year-old prospect is currently looking to get back on the right track following a loss to Mickey Gall in December.
Sage Northcutt: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisNorthcutt is a world-class athlete, but he isn't a world-class MMA fighter at age-20 and that was evident once again against Gall. Sage's strength and explosiveness give him the ability to score a quick or sudden finish against any opponent, but he had no response whenever Gall pushed forward for a takedown and he struggled with his positioning on the mat. Northcutt is such a good athlete that all of these issues of his should be fixable with time and proper coaching, but the UFC continues to push him into high-profile fights instead of allowing him to develop properly. Sage made his UFC debut in October 2015 and Saturday was already his fifth fight with the company. He needs to slow his roll and focus on training.
Fantasy AnalysisNorthcutt squeaked out a narrow victory over Enrique Marin at UFC 200, effectively bouncing back from his first ever UFC loss to Bryan Barberena in January. He sustained an elbow injury in that bout, but has since been medically cleared, and will now face a prospect of equal hype in the 24-year-old Gall. Despite being four years younger, Northcutt has the experience advantage, as Gall has just three professional fights to his name.
Fantasy AnalysisNorthcutt barely squeaked by with a decision victory Saturday, but it was the armbar he was caught in during the second round that likely caused the injury. Marin locked him in with near-perfect form, and it was merely sheer athleticism that allowed Northcutt to roll over and escape. Despite the victory, the UFC's top prospect will not walk away unscathed. He needs to have his left elbow X-rayed, and if the results are positive, he will need medical clearance if he plans to fight again before next January.
Fantasy AnalysisSage got back in the win column, but it wasn't easy. He started strong, but he faded in Round 2 when he allowed Marin to get back into the fight and nearly steal this one with an armbar. Northcutt looked better in Round 3, but it certainly wasn't the dominant effort that many were excepting from the -500 favorite. Sage is a freak athlete and has cardio for days, but he makes plenty of mistakes that are commonplace for a 20-year-old. His long-term potential remains off the charts, but the UFC better be careful in how quickly they push him. He still has a lot of holes in his game.
Fantasy AnalysisNorthcutt's last appearance in the octagon ended in a quick tapout, resulting in an embarrassing loss for the promotion that had been heavily touting the 19-year-old prospect. He'll now get a shot at redemption against Martin, a relative unknown to the promotion who has just one fight under his belt (a split-decision loss to Erick Montano).
Fantasy AnalysisThat won't make Dana White and the rest of the UFC brass very happy. Northcutt won Round 1, but he spent all of the second round on his back and tapped out despite the fact it didn't appear that Barberena had the choke completely sunk in. It was an awkward ending and one that will need more explanation. Either way, this is the risk you run when you overhype a 19-year-old kid. Northcutt's athletic skills are off the charts, but there are going to be some bumps in the road and this was one of them.
Fantasy AnalysisStill just 19 years old, Sage Northcutt will look to earn a victory in a new weight class -- competing at welterweight after earning wins at 165 and 155 lbs. With a short notice opponent in Bryan "Bam Bam" Barberena, Northcutt will surely seek an impressive win inside the distance.
Fantasy AnalysisBryan Barberena will fill in for the welterweight bout, looking to end the 19-year-old Northcutt's unbeaten streak. No official reason has been given for Holbrook's withdrawal, but the up-and-coming Northcutt is still likely to be the favorite in this bout.
Fantasy AnalysisNorthcutt also gave arguably the most politically correct company promo ever after the win. Pfister doesn't really qualify as a legitimate opponent, but it was still another nice effort from the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. Northcutt spent the first half of the first round on his back, but as soon as referee Mark Smith stood the two fighters up, the 19-year-old dominated the rest of the way. Going off the eye test alone, Sage appeared to be about twice Pfister's size. There are going to be bumps in the road, but his potential is sky high. Get used to seeing a lot of Northcutt, he's going nowhere.
Fantasy AnalysisAt 19 years old, many consider Northcutt to be one of the top prospects in all of mixed martial arts. He entered the promotion with a bang, earning a knockout against Francisco Trevino in the first minute of his UFC debut. Northcutt has seen the second round just once in his undefeated MMA career, and expects to make quick work out of Pfister on Thursday. It won't be long before UFC fans see Northcutt taking on some of the bigger names in the lightweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisThe UFC just couldn't resist putting Northcutt and Paige VanZant on the same card. From a marketing perspective, it is a pretty smart move. The UFC is trying to build up membership for their Fight Pass streaming site and having those two headline a card is a good way to do that. As far as the fight goes, Northcutt should have a massive advantage everywhere over Pfister. He knocked out Francisco Trevino in 57 seconds in his UFC debut earlier this month and he immediately stated that he wanted to fight again as soon as possible. The youngest fighter on the UFC roster will get his wish.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was as impressive of a UFC debut as you could possibly imagine. One slight trip by Trevino and Northcutt took advantage. He landed a ton of hard elbows and one violent takedown before referee Herb Dean had seen enough. Obviously it is just one fight, but Northcutt is just 19-years old and he appears to be an absolutely terrific athlete. It's quite possible that the UFC has just found one of their newest stars.