Search icon


20th Sep 2016

Sage Northcutt is relentlessly positive about CM Punk despite UFC debut setback

Always looking on the bright side.

Tom Victor

UFC up-and-comer Sage Northcutt might well be the most positive man in sport in general, not just in mixed martial arts.

The 20-year-old, who bounced back from his first career defeat with victory over Enrique Marin at UFC 200, has spoken highly of CM Punk despite the ex-wrestler losing badly on his professional MMA debut.

Punk – real name Phillip Brooks – was stopped in the first round at UFC 203 by Mickey Gall, who Northcutt seems poised to face before the end of the year.

And ‘Super Sage’ saw the positives for the 434-day WWE champion despite the setback, which may end up being his only UFC bout.

“I just want to say that CM Punk – that was awesome for him to get out there and have the guts to get out there and fight, because not everybody would do that,” Northcutt told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hourin his usual upbeat manner.

“So to get inside the Octagon, and he said it was his dream to go out there, that’s awesome for him.”

Still, despite his apparent pride in Punk’s achievements, Northcutt admitted he fully expected Gall to get the better of his opponent.

“I think everybody kind of expected it to go the way it did,” he continued.

“[Gall] was fighting a guy that trained very little and the fight went, I’m sure, the way everybody expected.”

Despite Gall recording a first round submission to extend his career record to 3-0, Punk took home a paycheck of $500,000 for his part in the Cleveland, Ohio bout – more than 16 times what Gall earned for his victory.

After the fight, Gall called out Northcutt with the hope of securing a headline-grabbing fight at the UFC’s first New York event on November 12.

However an infection means the young Texan has been unable to train as he might have hoped, and a December bout – perhaps at UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – seems more likely.

We review a crazy All-Ireland final and chat to Lee Keegan about his special relationship with Diarmuid Connolly. Listen below or subscribe here on iTunes.