The UFC’s decision to let Sage Northcutt walk away was surprising enough for many people, now Dana White is going one step further by insisting that the ONE Championship athlete should retire at 23 years of age. That may seem alarming or even melodramatic to some, but the fact that Northcutt is so young is even more of a reason for him to leave the sport according to White (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“I would really like to see Sage Northcutt retire,” White said in an interview with TSN. “I hope he does. (He’s a) good looking, charismatic kid, smart. He was an engineer, taking college to be an engineer. He’s got a lot going on in his life. This isn’t the sport for him. I don’t want to sound like I’m (expletive) all over the guy, because I really like the kid a lot, but this isn’t the sport for him. I would love to see him retire before he seriously gets hurt.”
While under the UFC umbrella, Sage Northcutt went an impressive 6-2, so even White has to concede that Northcutt has talent. It’s just that the talent is not high enough to sacrifice everything else he has going for him:
“Yeah (I don’t think he’s good enough),” White said. “It’s not that the kid doesn’t have some talent. He does have some talent. This isn’t the sport for him. He needs to retire. Hopefully the people that surround him listen to what I’m saying and set this kid on another path in life, because he can literally do whatever he wants to do. He’s young, he’s smart. Some people have to fight. Sage Northcutt doesn’t have to fight.”
In Northcutt’s last bout, his face was broken in a devastating KO within 29 seconds of his bout against Cosmo Alexandre. Perhaps that result and Northcutt’s ensuing hospital visit is what inspired the UFC president to make this plea for Northcutt to call it a career.
What’s your take on Dana White’s plea for Sage Northcutt to retire from mixed martial arts?