Sage Northcutt's kitschy social media persona isn't going anywhere, even with a loss.
On Sunday night, Northcutt gave his first public words since losing to Bryan Barberena at UFC on FOX 18 on Saturday in Newark, N.J. Northcutt tweeted a video of himself holding a basketball and riding on a hoverboard.
"Hey guys," Northcutt said, spinning the basketball on his finger. "Thanks for all the support. I'll be back soon."
Thank you all for the support this weekend and everybody that tuned in and watched. I'll be back better than ever! pic.twitter.com/tqbP7tX6cx— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) February 1, 2016
At the end of the short clip, he shot the ball and it clanked off the front of the rim. The people with him laughed.
Northcutt (7-1), who is just 19 years old, was one of the most heavily hyped prospects by the UFC in recent memory. He was "discovered" by UFC president Dana White, Matt Serra and Nick the Tooth on the pilot episode of the "Lookin' for a Fight" reality show on UFC Fight Pass. Northcutt went on to win his first two UFC fights, but his undefeated run was halted Saturday night.
Barberena (11-3), an unheralded fighter out of the MMA Lab in Arizona, was overwhelmed a bit by Northcutt's prodigious athleticism in the first round, but got Northcutt on his back in the second, grinded him out and eventually finished with an arm triangle choke.
Northcutt was on the receiving end of major criticism from his peers and fans afterward, mostly because how hard he was promoted by the UFC. The freakishly athletic Texan with the rippling muscles, crazy flips and uncanny politeness was built as a future star. Critics said he didn't deserve the push and tapped too quickly Saturday. Some fellow UFC fighters, like Sergio Pettis, did offer support.
Maybe he still will be a future star -- he's only a teenager -- but for now perhaps the spotlight will be off for a bit.
"I'll be back better than ever!" Northcutt said in his tweet.