Saturday's UFC on Fox 18 (officially UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Bader) saw the derailment of the UFC hype train for 19-year-old prospect "Super" Sage Northcutt. UFC President Dana White signed Northcutt filming his reality Youtube series Looking for a Fight.
Northcutt set himself apart from the pack with his Abercrombie model looks, flashy style and humble aw-shucks personality in front of the camera. His UFC 192 pre-scrum video was picked by none-MMA sites like break.com. Besides being good on camera, Sage is also a karate champion, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and has seven professional MMA wins (all finishes and coming in 2-0 in UFC).
All that hype came to an end at the hands of MMA Lab fighter Bryan Barberena. Barberena was able to take Northcutt down in the second. After some ground-and-pound, which Sage did not react well too, Barberena took half-guard and locked in an arm-triangle. Northcutt eventually tapped out.
What was really troubling was Northcutt's early tap, which showed his inexperience and lack of toughness. Sage seemed like it was looking for a way out. An arm triangle from the half-guard across his body would not have been able to render him unconscious. Using the half-guard and "answering the telephone" should be enough to alleviate pressure on his neck.
Hopefully, Sage comes back stronger mentally and with better technique. His clinch and takedown defense needs to get a lot better. He has fantastic standup, but it's useless if he's stuck against the cage or on his back. He also needs to work on his jiu-jitsu. He seems to do well from dominant positions, but lacks the techniques to defend himself in bad positions.