By the time the Sage Northcutt show began to keep some of its promises, it seems the UFC has canceled and canceled it.
Perhaps a better way to say it is, the promotion of the fight chose not to renew it for another season. Not now, anyway. And the explanation of this is very revealing, if not terribly surprising.
While UFC President Dana White informed the organizers of the podcast "UFC Uniltered", the company "let (Northcutt)" go after struggling against his current contract on a set of three victories.
"Sage is young and Sage needs work," White said. "Let him work in other organizations, and we'll see where that kid ends up in a few years. Maybe we'll pick it up again.
At first glance, this statement seems a little confusing. Northcutt has been part of the UFC for three years now. He is 6-2 in two different weight classes. His latest success was won by TKO, legitimately impressive, against Zak Ottow, who was not quite as far away as his opponents Northcutt.
Because of the linear nature of time, he is also older than ever. How was his youth and his experience decisive when it was not a problem at all three years ago when he was younger and much less experienced?
The answer is easy to understand for seasoned observers of this sport. As often, White does not mean exactly what he says here. It's a promoter speech, and you have to decode it to get to the real explanation.
To begin, consider how Northcutt arrived at the UFC. After appearing in the first episode of Dana White's streaming web series, "Dana White: Lookin 'for a Fight", he signed for the UFC with a 5-0 record and a little over a year as a professional.
He also got an unusually heavy entry-level contract, earning $ 40,000 US and $ 40,000 US in his second fight against the UFC. (The man he beat that night, Cody Pfister, had only earned $ 12,000 for his third fight with the promotion.)
These kinds of things caught the attention of people. The same is true for Northcutt's almost aggressively healthy personality. He had the smile of Colgate. He had blond hair bristling. He had tan and muscles. It was as if the UFC had ordered some type of hunter suitable for television from the central distribution.
The fact that he was "discovered" on White's own show and then paid much more than most newcomers to beat opponents who appeared to have been chosen strictly for their bliss only reinforced a certain type of story. The UFC wanted Northcutt to be one thing and we would not regret it.
So how did we find ourselves here, three years and eight fights later, how far Northcutt is judged to be too young and too inexperienced to continue in the UFC? It's simple, really. Chances are, we are not talking about the product as much as the price tag.
And, in all fairness, Northcutt's price has gone up. In his last fight for which official winnings were publicly available, a loss of Mickey Gall's bid to the UFC on FOX 22 in 2016, his announced payout had gone from $ 40,000 to $ 60,000. It was just before a winning streak of three fights, which probably triggered a further increase in wages.
After playing his contract on a winning note, it is not hard to imagine that Northcutt requires a significant increase to sign up again with the UFC. It is not difficult to imagine that the UFC decides that the trip was not worth the price of the ticket.
We have already seen this from the UFC. Combat promotion means constantly having to convince fans that the fighters on the next card are worth it our money. It's when these fighters ask the UFC for more and more his money as the calculation begins to change.
This is how we move from the next big business to a greater need for work and experience. You know, unless your price goes down.
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