It wasn’t that long ago really when Dana White was saying Sage Northcutt could become a big star for the UFC. But, fast forward to today, and the UFC President thinks “Super” should retire.
Northcutt exited the UFC last year, after completing his deal with the promotion on a three-fight winning streak. The 23-year-old fighter ended up signing with ONE Championship, and in his promotional debut last month, he was brutally knocked out by Cosmo Alexandre. Not only that, Northcutt was hospitalized for several days, as he required surgery to repair multiple facial fractures he incurred in the fight.
Well, in advance of UFC 238, White spoke with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. The latter was initially asking White about the future of BJ Penn, and after the UFC President said he wants the former champ to retire, he said this about Northcutt (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I would really like to see Sage Northcutt retire,” White said. “I hope he does. (He’s a) 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 (expletive) 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.”
“Yeah (I don’t think he’s good enough). 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.”
Now, some skeptics/critics might question whether White would be saying this about Northcutt, if say, this loss had incurred under the UFC’s banner. Others, however, might wonder if White has insights about Northcutt that the general public doesn’t have. While the loss to Alexandre was devastating, and ONE took a lot of heat after the fact for booking the match-up, as noted above, Northcutt had won three straight prior to the loss.
We’ll see what happens with Northcutt, but so far, there’s been no indication that he’s thinking about ending his fight career.