Fighters, Pundits React to Sage Northcutt's UFC on Fox 18 Loss

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2016

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 30:  Bryan Barberena (top) submits Sage Northcutt in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Prudential Center on January 30, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

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:

Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA

Forget giving Sage Northcutt someone who can test him. Can we at least give him someone with abs?

Jordan Breen @jordanbreen

Sage's feint-right cross comes with some real youthful exuberance. Landed nice early and put Barberena on his ass when he landed it for real

Dave Sholler @DaveSholler

Fun round 1!

Brian Stann @BrianStann

Barberena doesnt look to be in great shape but normally he gets better as the fight goes on, likes an ugly fight. Lets see how he starts 2nd

Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA

Barbarena tagged Northcutt with a couple hard rights at the end of the round. Couldn't tell if Barbarena's corner was psyched or surprised.

And then it happened:

Roxanne Modafferi @Roxyfighter

That was an awesome little cart wheel kick by Northcutt but not worth you getting stuck on the bottom. #UFC

Brent Brookhouse @brentbrookhouse


Brian Stann @BrianStann

Wow. That hype train got hit w/ a nuke

Sydnie Jones @syd1138

WHAT! Oh, man. #UFConFOX18

Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA

Northcutt is still a promising athlete and young talent, but man, he needs a ground game that isn't just holding and waiting.

Jordan Breen @jordanbreen

Northcutt was nowhere near trapped, almost any vet would've escaped that. Tapped because he was panicked and exhausted. That's being 19.

Michael Carroll @MJCflipdascript

Bryan Barberena is the 5th fighter in UFC history to earn an arm triangle from half guard or full guard.

devon sawa @DevonESawa

So does Barbarena get the big money or is he not tanned enough?

The fighters (h/t MMA Supremacy for compiling a list of fighters' reactions):

Ben Askren @Benaskren

Can I say it was a weak tap??? Just freaking embarrassing, I'd retire my gloves effective immediately. https://t.co/XjwgUStXSA

Michael Johnson @FollowTheMenace

Damn that choke was barely in! Hmmm

Roan Jucao @jucao

Omg he tap ??? And it was not tight enough. It wasn't the right side

Sean Pierson @seanpierson

Lololol #backfire #ufc #noheart

Ramsey Nijem @RamseyNijem

Lol what a joke @sagenorthcutt tapped out to a choke set up #whitebelt

The pundits:

Dann Stupp @DannStupp

It's probably a good thing Sage likes UFC Fight Pass so much.

Daniel Downes @dannyboydownes

I'm hoping we get goth Sage. Someone @benfowlkesMMA to loan Sage one of his Cure albums. https://t.co/tT7Kre8NKu

Robert Sargent @MMARising

UFC misspelled Bryan Barberena's Twitter handle before that fight. Now, they're making a fan Q&A for him. Quite a difference one win makes.

Scott Harris @ScottHarrisMMA

Sage Northcutt standing in front of cat posters dot tumblr dot com

Stephie Haynes @CrooklynMMA

How shocking that Barberena got a nice submission over a guy that was supposed to merc him and got no bonus. Shocking, I say!

jim genia @jim_genia

Sitting cageside watching girls throw their panties at Sage, then when he taps out they run down and retrieve them. DISLOYAL HARLOTS.

And some words of encouragement:

Brian Stann @BrianStann

Sage is very athletic and very young. Seems to be just beginning in his grappling, he can be elite someday. This experience helps

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.


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