Headlined by Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader, the UFC on FOX 18 card played out in Newark, New JerseyIf you're a fight fan, you could have been forgiven even if you had flirted with the idea of giving the UFC Newark card a skip entirely.For one, it hardly boasted a slew of big names – and barring the distinct possibility of another highlight reel knockout courtesy of Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson – few other fight-centric attractions to go along with what was considered to be a somewhat middling card on paper.But such is the nature of the fight game that the unfolding of events, while not quite eliciting the same brouhaha as we have become accustomed to of late, did register telling implications on both the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight divisions in the UFC.On the back of Jon Jones’ impending return to the Octagon, and the cancellation of the Heavyweight Championship bout between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez, here then are 5 salient talking points that emerged forth from what was an otherwise meek and run-of-the-mill card put out by the UFC.
#5 The Young, the Bad and the Ugly
As he would remind us at every press conference, wide-eyed and brimming with unbridled enthusiasm, Sage Northcutt is only 19 years old.
And if not for the advent of the "Dana White: Looking For a Fight" series, he would probably still be worried about meeting project deadlines in school and occasionally competing at some non-descript local promotion in the weekends.
Plucking him from obscurity and exposing him to the unforgiving glare of the global spotlight, while admittedly providing a marketing gold mine for the UFC, was a gamble that unfortunately lasted only for the entirety of 2 fights.
In what was his 3rd UFC fight in just under 4 months, it became obvious that merely being blessed with Greek God-esque genetics and surreal athletic ability alone is woefully inadequate preparation for anyone who is competing in the shark-tank that is the UFC.
His panic tap, while only caught in an arm triangle from half guard by Bryan Barberena, has not only sullied his thus far unblemished MMA and UFC record, but also cut the legs from underneath all the hype that has been afforded to Sage Northcutt over the past few months.
If the loss in itself is probably the biggest lesson for the youngster regarding the true magnitude of the task that lays ahead of him, some of the reactions spewing forth from his fellow UFC fighters have been nothing short of spiteful and virulent.
While a smattering of truth does exist in the outpouring of criticism, it troubling to say the least that most of the ill-will directed towards Sage Northcutt has been derived off the jealousy arising from the bountifulness of his paycheck, and a deeply misplaced sense of bitterness.