Sage Northcutt is one of the UFC's hottest young prospects. Discovered by Dana White on his reality show Looking For a Fight, the young lightweight contender was mocked by Dana White and co prior to his fight in the pilot for looking like a Hollister model.
Of course, Dana White, Matt Sera and Nick “The Tooth” were left to eat their words as they watched Sage Northcutt put on a devastating performance, ultimately earning him a UFC contract.
'Super' Sage came into the UFC with a massive hype train building behind him. With a first round finish over Francisco Trevino at UFC 192, Northcutt looked like he was the real deal. A second round submission win over Cody Pfizer at UFC Fight Night 80 followed, before the hype train was derailed at UFC on Fox 18 in pretty bizarre fashion.
Bryan Barberena submitted the young UFC starlet in the second round via an Arm-Triangle Choke that didn't seem to be locked in enough to cause a tap. However much to the delight of many fighters on the roster, Northcutt submitted. Following the loss, it was revealed that Northcutt had a bad dose of strep throat, and was admitted to the emergency room days before the fight. Prompting the question if Northcutt should of been in the octagon at all. Something Barberena felt was mere excuses to keep the hype train going.
Regardless, Sage Northcutt looks towards the future hoping to get back to winning ways when he takes on Enrique Marin at the UFC's landmark 200 card. To help prepare for his fight, Israeli Muay Thai champion Ilya Grad was brought in to train the 20 year old, helping him to hone his ground game.
However... It seems things didn't go to plan, as Ilya Grad took to his instagram account to brand Sage Northcutt's father the worst coach he's ever seen in his life. The Israeli champ allegedly walked out of the gym in disgust, following multiple interruptions by Northcutts father before being accused of attempting to hurt Northcutt when sparring.
“@supersagenorthcutt came in for sparring today preparing for UFC 200. I want to say something nice about the kid but oh my what a disaster it was. His dad is probably the worst coach I’ve seen in my life. He walks around talking shit from the start like we owe him something, then he interrupting his real coach during the rounds and gives poor Sage negative pet talk in between! Then at the 3rd round when I was just warming up and started pushing the pace they accused me of trying to hurt him and retired him from sparring! – When I train someone for a fight I want to put them in difficult situations, as you would in a real fight but these clowns just want him to do well and when he doesn’t they accused me of some shit and made a scene! Never have I seen such bad coaching in my life! You have great potential kid, If you smart tell your dad to stay away from your fight camp so you could actually get some training done! Good luck for 200 ✌️”
Harsh criticism from a champion is never good PR. With such damaging reports coming from someone who has witnessed the training first hand, it will be interesting to see how Northcutt deals with the scenario moving forward. With a massive future ahead of him within the UFC, the 20 year old has bags of potential to go on and become a future champion in the promotion.
You can next see Sage Northcutt on the mammoth UFC 200 fight card, on July 9, 2016 live at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.