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Dana White believes Sage Northcutt ‘needs to retire’

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Sage Northcutt
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It wasn’t long ago that Sage Northcutt was being pushed as a can’t-miss prospect on the UFC roster.

Now company president Dana White is calling for “Super Sage” to consider getting out of the fight business.

Northcutt, 23, is not currently under contract with the UFC. After going 6-2 in the promotion competing at lightweight and welterweight, Northcutt parted ways with the UFC via free agency and signed on with Singapore’s ONE Championship. He made his ONE debut in May, facing veteran kickboxer Cosmo Alexandre in a 185-pound bout, and the fight ended with Northcutt being left face-down on the canvas by a right hand from Alexandre.

Later, Northcutt said he suffered eight fractures in his face that required nine hours of surgery to deal with the injury.

@supersagenorthcutt, Instagram

During an interview with TSN ahead of UFC 238 in Chicago about recent fighter retirements, White volunteered Northcutt’s name as someone he thinks could join a list that just added the likes of UFC fighters Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa, and Nick Hein.

“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.”

Northcutt (11-3) made his UFC debut back in October 2015 at the age of 19 and was promoted as a fighter who could be a future face of the company. He won his first fight via 57-second TKO and then submitted his next opponent before moving up to welterweight where he was submitted by Bryan Barberena. He would split his next two fights before ending his UFC run last July on a three-fight win streak.

Asked point blank if he felt Northcutt wasn’t “good enough,” White responded in the affirmative and reiterated that he felt Northcutt should consider options outside of MMA.

“Yeah. It’s not that the kid doesn’t have some talent, he does have some talent,” White said. “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.”