Sage Northcutt quickly won his UFC debut against Francisco Trevino, after he took advantage of an ill-timed slip with a barrage of strikes that forced Herb Dean to stop the fight. It was an impressive showing, one that builds up even more notoriety for the 19-year-old former Karate champ.
Kenny Florian seems to be one of those already believing in the hype just 57 seconds into Northcutt's UFC career.
"Talk about potential. Talk about dollar signs," Kenny said on the Anik and Florian podcast, as transcribed by MMA Fighting. "This kid could be Georges St-Pierre times ten. When you look at his look and the way that he fights. The explosiveness."
"This kid, I think he got to the state championships after only a year of wrestling in high school. He was wrestling at Texas A&M after only a couple years of wrestling. He started wrestling very late. This kid is an athlete through and through. Just look at that flip," Florian said about Northcutt's celebration.
"It's unbelievable what kind of maturity and approach that he has to this game," said Florian. "Everything this guy does he does it 100 percent. Whether it's wrestling or being a karate world champion. His sister is a karate champion. It's in their blood. This is what they do and now we're getting these truly elite, world-class athletes in the sport. It really is exciting."
"Let's say fighting doesn't work out. He could be a movie star. He could be a Jean-Claude Van Damme. Maybe do it at the same time."
While it is true that the 6-0 Northcutt seems like a tremendous athlete with high upside and a fan friendly style, we hardly saw much from his UFC debut, and all his previous opponents had losing records, or losing streaks. He's also still less than a year into his pro-career, so maybe everyone should pump the brakes a bit.
When he was just 6 fights into his career as well, Phillipe Nover was also unfairly compared to GSP and Silva in the past. In the end, he faltered under those expectations as he was rushed up the ladder. Northcutt can obviously be a different case, and while he seems like an incredible prospect, we should clearly slow down with any sort of comparisons to the sport's all-time greats.