Sage Northcutt is 19-years-old, looks like an adonis, and has the push of a lifetime from Dana White and the UFC. Walking into the Octagon tonight, Sage was 7-0, looking at his third fight in the UFC, and was making $40,000 to show and $40,000 to win. That’s a big contract for such an unproven talent, and some people weren’t happy. But Sage has “the look” and that means a lot to audiences. That’s why he got the call to perform on a FOX card in front of millions. That, and his ability to do cool front flips when he wins.
Sage keeps busy, too, and that’s why he’s been in the public eye so much over the last year. He was scheduled to face Andrew Holbrook at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs Bader, but Holbrook pulled out with an injury eight days out from the event. In stepped Benson Henderson training partner Bryan Barbarena, who wouldn’t be able to make Sage’s weight of 155 pounds in such short notice, so the fight was set at welterweight, and Barbarena ground out Northcutt in a shocking and violent Cinderella story.
Straight up, Barbarena didn’t look like he was in shape at 170, and looked exactly like a man who took a fight against an athletic winner such as Sage Northcutt on eight days of notice. But as the fight went on, Barbarena would grind Northcutt against the fence, eventually bringing him down before pouring elbows on him until the UFC’s (still) potential star tapped out to an arm triangle.
It was a performance that was impressive and gutty as hell. Even Bararena’s post-fight celebration summed up his style versus Northcutt’s.