When Sage Northcutt suffered a horrific injury in May, losing his ONE Championship debut against Cosmo Alexandre, his former promoter Dana White called for his retirement. White even said that MMA “isn’t the sport” for the 23-year-old prospect.
Northcutt doesn’t understand why his former promoter would say those things.
“For him to say something like that, after that injury, I don’t understand the exact logic of why he would say something like that,” Northcutt told MMA Fighting. “Before, he was wishing me to do great in everything I happened to do in the future, and (to) say something like that is totally different.”
In a now-deleted post one day after his loss to Alexandre, “Super” Sage wrote that he underwent a nine-hour surgery to fix eight fractures in his face. Weeks later, White told TSN he wished the UFC veteran wouldn’t compete again.
“I would really like to see Sage Northcutt retire,” White said. “I hope he does. Good looking, charismatic kid, smart. He was (going to) 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 shitting 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.”
Asked if he doesn’t think Northcutt is good enough to fight MMA, White replied, “Yeah.”
“It’s not that the kid doesn’t have some talent,” he continued. “He does have some talent. This isn’t the sport for him. He needs to retire. And 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.”
Speaking with the media for the first time since the loss, Northcutt indicated White’s reaction was rooted in his decision to fight for another promoter.
“I’m sure he’s had a few fighters from the UFC go to ONE Championship and I’m sure he—I’m not sure what exactly he wants to see from those fighters, but I’m sure he would like them to be fighting for his league,” Northcutt said. “Me fighting for ONE Championship is great, and I think I’m gonna accomplish great things.
As for random people invading his social media to criticize or even make fun of him after the knockout loss to Alexandre, Northcutt just won’t give them any attention.
“I know that a lot of them that say anything negative don’t really understand, unless they’ve been in the footsteps (I’ve had to take), and having gone through an injury of that extent, or had to make the decisions I had to make,” he said. “I don’t really listen to any of that. I’m just thinking about all the people that are out there supporting me, my friends and everybody that are trying to give me support and help lift me up.”