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On July 9th we will witness the biggest MMA event of all time. From top to bottom this card is stacked with former champions, veterans, and the biggest stars. Its been a long time in the making. People have been waiting for this event ever since UFC 100 and their expectations have been growing.
The one fight that sort of stands out from the card is Sage Northcutt vs Enrique Marin. These fighters are still very new to the division. It could be debated that this fight doesn’t belong on this card.
Joe Silva said “You had every fighter on the roster wanting to be on this card. If it is the first prelim of the night it is an honor to be on UFC 200.” Sage Northcutt should be doubly honored for jumping veterans who have been fighting in the UFC for much longer that wanted the chance.
When it comes to total fights, performance bonuses, and years fought Northcutt is far below the average of other fighters on this card. The average amount of fights that a fighter has on this card is 22 with 10 of them being in the UFC. Sage only has 8 fights, and only 3 in the UFC. The other fighters chosen for this card have an average of 3 performance bonuses. Sage has none. The average time that the other fighters were in the UFC is 9 years, Sage has been in the UFC for 2 years.
Being as new as he is, I think it is going to be a lot of pressure to be involved in something like this at such a young age. Especially coming of a loss and what he has been through lately.
Northcutt recently talked about it on Ariel Helwani’s MMA HOUR. He said “Coming off of being sick as you can imagine having step throat so severe. I took a while to heal up from that. I actually went up to Canada at Tristar Gym I was there for about 5 weeks and I got sick again. I ended up catching a staph infection while I was there so I was in the hospital for almost a entire week straight with MRSA staph. and that was crazy. So i came back home and had to do some finals. Just recently maybe a month or so ago I healed up completely.”
Joe Silva recently gave his opinion in an interview. “It’s hard to be in the UFc period as deep as the talent pool is and to be in his weightclass which is the deepest weightcleass in the sport. But to have all those expectations thrusted on you at such a young age. So early in your career and having so many people activley rooting against you for your downfall. He had a lot going against him that last fight.”
Regardless of how Joe Silva feels about the pressure on Sage’s shoulders he still booked him to fight on UFC 200. The reasoning seems to be that the UFC has a lot of faith in him and want to give him the push to be a star. Jon Jones fought on the prelims way back on UFC 100 and now he is a star and the headliner for UFC 200. Could they be trying to do the same with Sage Northcutt.
It would be great to look back in a few years and see the growth of Northcutt but I think they are taking a big risk here. It also comes off as seeming a bit forced. This is the biggest opportunity that Sage will ever get and the pressure is on for him to perform. I wish him luck and hope that his story plays out like the UFC is banking on. Good luck Sage.
What do you guys think. Does he deserve to be in the card? Does he fit the theme? Am I being too harsh.
Let me know in the comments or on twitter @MMAFanJesse. Thanks for reading.