Sage Northcutt appeared to be one of the promising young guns in the UFC who were poised to become household names amongst MMA fans. He debuted with the company at the age of 19-years-old in 2015 and amassed a record of 6-2 while fighting for the promotion.
The fighter from Katy, Texas was being heavily promoted and lauded until he suffered two losses over three fights, dropping matches to Bryan Barberena and Mickey Gall via submission. Those two losses seemed to take the steam out of his hype in the eyes of the UFC team.
It didn’t take the steam out of Northcutt’s desire to get better at his sport and went on a three fight win streak that was capped off with a second round knockout win over Zak Ottow on July 14, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 133. His bout with Ottow was promoted as the co-main event.
Northcutt fought in both the lightweight and welterweight division with his last match being at welterweight.
With that win streak it looked like Northcutt was once again back on the rise as a young gun in the UFC. It was somewhat of a shock when it was announced late last year that the 23-year-old fighter had signed with ONE Championship instead of announcing his next UFC opponent.
Northcutt took to Twitter to express his announcement about joining the fight promotion;
“It’s an honor to be a part of the One Championship family! I’m looking forward to being a part of something great.”
ONE Championship had found and signed a young talent that they could potentially help build a promotion around. Northcutt was originally discovered by Dana White on the “Lookin’ for a Fight” show and seemed to have handpicked him to be one of the big names in the promotion.
Dana White discussed Northcutt’s departure on the UFC Unfiltered podcast last year;
“We let Sage go. Sage is young and Sage needs some work. So let him get some work in one of these other organizations and we’ll see where this kid ends up in a couple of years and maybe we’ll pick him back up again.”
Resepected MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that Northcutt had multiple offers from other promotions including Bellator, ONE and Combate Americas. The UFC had a chance to match ONE’s offer but chose to let the fighter go to the rival promotion instead.
Northcutt makes his debut for his new promotion on May 17, 2019 at ONE Championship: Enter The Dragon. He will be facing Cosmo Alexandre who sports an 8-1 professional MMA record. The Brazilian is also an active kickboxer with a professional record of 69-19-1
Only time will tell as to whether or not the UFC made a huge mistake by letting the young Northcutt go to ONE Championship.