Northcutt Lost and it’s Okay
Super Sage Northcutt loses for the first time in his young life. The 19-year-old was submitted in the second round of his fight against Bryan Barberena. Make no mistake about it, this is a good thing.
Northcutt is still just 19-years-old, meaning he has a lot of time to grow and learn from this. The first thing I noticed was his complete discomfort, both up against the cage and on the mat. His last fight against Cody Pfister revealed that he did not like being on his back at all and had fans hopeful that he would work on that aspect of his training. He looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights.
As Joe Rogan stated that was a quick tap. Supposedly, Northcutt has a triple stripe purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu but his tapping to an arm triangle from the wrong side in half guard just points to the kid being way out of his element and panicking. Joe Rogan was nothing short of disappointed by his inability to defend the submission and his willingness to give up when he was in very little danger.
Northcutt has all the tools in the world to be successful. He’s such an athletic specimen and it’s good that he got this first loss out-of-the-way early. The worst thing that could happen to him is what happened to Ronda Rousey. He could have gotten by on pure athleticism, leading to him developing some bad habits, which eventually get exposed. Now he could realize that being bigger, faster, and stronger than everyone doesn’t guarantee victory. His mind and technique needs to catch up with his physicality. Perhaps it’s time to look at real training camps, and start sparring. Famously, Northcutt stated that he doesn’t spar because of the possibility of injury. These situations are what sparring prepares you for, it throws you into dangerous situations in a controlled environment, that way when it happens in a fight you remain calm and don’t tap out as a means of escape.
Northcutt is still without a doubt one of the most promising prospects in the sport. Getting his first loss out-of-the-way now allows him to really get a look at his weaknesses and improve before he develops bad habits or gets set in his ways. Hopefully, the media and fans don’t ruin his confidence after this loss because he’s still going to be something special. This is just a reminder to everyone that he still has a lot of learning to do.
Michael Gomez covers MMA for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @MichaelGom3
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