“We let Sage go,” White said. “Sage is young and Sage needs some work. Let him get some work in some other organizations and we will see where this kid ends up in a couple of years. Maybe we will pick him back up again. His contract was up, so we let him go.”
Monday, Sage Northcutt appeared on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” and his version of events varied quite drastically from White’s:
“I know at first, the UFC said that I had been cut from the UFC, but it actually didn’t happen like that,” Northcutt said. “I wasn’t cut from the UFC. Actually, the UFC wasn’t able to match the incentive and what was being offered from ONE Championship. So they actually had to physically release me. It was the best thing to release me.”
Sage Northcutt went on to specifically address White’s reasons for allegedly deciding to let Northcutt go:
“When it was said that I was being released or cut from the UFC to go be able to develop as a fighter and go work on my skills, that wasn’t the case,” Northcutt said. “I was actually offered to fight for the top 10 in the UFC and fight Ponzinibbio and fight the main event inside Argentina. So I accepted that fight. And we said, OK, let’s do a one-fight contract for this so I could prove myself that I can fight in the top 10, I can go beat the top-10 guys. And then, we can come back and we can create a contract with more fights, like four or five fights if we want.
“But then, the UFC after that, they came back saying, ‘Do you want to fight Ponzinibbio?’ And we said yes. They came back after that and said, OK, Sage, we’re going to ask you to do a two-fight contract. And me and my coaches actually said, no, you know what? We’re not going to do that.”
“It was pretty much impossible for them to match just because of the incentives that were being offered.”
Sage Northcutt also disclosed that he was offered a fight against Demian Maia as well, but by then he was already in the process of finalizing his contract with ONE Championship.
What are your thoughts on these revelations from Sage Northcutt?