That burning heap over on the side of the hill? Yeah, that's the Sage Northcutt hype train. It got derailed in Hollywood fashion at UFC on Fox 18.
Northcutt is a 19-year-old superathlete and a good prospect for the UFC. It scooped him up and instantly put the marketing machine behind him. When that happens, there can be backlash or ill feelings. And none of that is the fault of a young prospect who accepted what was offered to him.
What really caused the ruckus online was how Bryan Barberena defeated Northcutt.
Barberena was moving toward an arm-triangle choke, but he had not even passed over to the correct side to tighten it up before Northcutt was tapping out. Joe Rogan stated on the broadcast that it was an early choke. It should be noted that Northcutt did not come from a grappling background. He is still learning and becoming a well-rounded fighter.
And Twitter reacted in all its glory to the result.
All was normal during the first round:
And then it happened:
The fighters (h/t MMA Supremacy for compiling a list of fighters' reactions):
And some words of encouragement:
Northcutt will undoubtedly learn from this experience, and he has all the physical abilities to make a serious run up the ranks as he matures physically, mentally and overall as a fighter. He has a lot to learn and a lot of time to accomplish all that he needs.
Now that he has lost, perhaps some pressure will be lifted as well and the UFC can pull the reins back a bit to allow him room to grow.
And when he returns, win or lose, perhaps Twitter won't react as harshly as it has following his first career loss.