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Dana White gives update on Sage Northcutt’s free agency, status of flyweight division

UFC on FOX 22 Open Workout
Sage Northcutt
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC is moving on from Sage Northcutt for now.

Little has been heard from “Super Sage” since his last fight at UFC Boise this past July and Dana White confirmed Tuesday during an appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast that Northcutt is no longer with the promotion.

“His contract was up, so we let him go,” White said.

The news comes as somewhat of a surprise given the promotional push that the 22-year-old received early in his career and his winning record inside the Octagon. In eight UFC appearances, Northcutt went 6-2 competing at lightweight and welterweight with a 5-0 record at 155 pounds. In his most recent fight, a 170-pound affair, he picked up a second-round knockout of Zak Ottow.

White couldn’t say what Northcutt’s next move would be, but he sounded optimistic that the fighter would gain experience elsewhere and possibly return to the UFC in the future.

“We let Sage go,” White said. “Sage is young and Sage needs some work. So let him get some work in one of these other organizations and we’ll see where this kid ends up in a couple of years and maybe we’ll pick him back up again.”

Northcutt has mentioned being interested in signing with Singapore’s ONE Championship, an organization that White has recently dealt with himself. In a historic deal that was announced in October, the UFC arranged to have longtime flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson sent to ONE, with ONE giving up unbeaten welterweight champion Ben Askren in return.

That move has raised questions as to the fate of the 125-pound division in the UFC, with its most high-profile representative gone and other flyweights announcing their releases. The final nail in the coffin appeared to be the booking of a superfight between bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo for Cejudo’s recently won flyweight title, with Dillashaw declaring that he is essentially being paid to shut down the UFC’s lightest male division.

Asked about Dillashaw’s comments, White shrugged them off, but could not offer further clarification on what might happen to the UFC flyweight roster.

“T.J. Dillashaw didn’t do shit to the flyweight division,” White said. “The flyweight division just never took off, it never caught on. Even with a dominant champion like Demetrious, it just never caught on. People didn’t care. I battled for a long time, I tried to keep it alive and obviously, it’s still going on now. We still have fights going on in that division, but we’ll see what the future holds for it.”

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