It didn’t take uber-prospect, Sage Northcutt, long to introduce himself to the rest of the UFC lightweight division; in just 57 seconds, Northcutt dispatched of veteran Francisco Trevino via TKO. After an initial feeling out process, Trevino slipped while attempting a kick and Northcutt swarmed.

After a vicious flurry of punches, Northcutt scooped Trevino up into the air and dumped him on the mat. From there, Northcutt continued to reign down punches and elbows until referee Herb Dean has seen enough.

Trevino was visibly upset by the stoppage and even pushed Dean after the bout – expect to see a serious punishment for that lapse in judgment – but it wasn’t a bad stoppage. While Trevino wasn’t out he sure wasn’t defending himself and Northcutt sure wasn’t slowing down.

Now at just 19-years-old with a spectacular UFC victory already under his belt, expectations are through the roof for Northcutt. But just like they are doing with Paige VanZant, the UFC needs to take it slow with Northcutt and allow his skills to develop and mature. There is greatness there but pushing him too fast would be disastrous for his development.

The goal must be to challenge him with every matchup while still allowing him to be successful. His next bout should come against a fighter like James Moontasri; a talented fighter with a dynamic striking game.

Between his model looks, his dynamic striking, his explosive athleticism and his natural charisma, Northcutt is the kind of fighter the UFC needs. Outside of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey the UFC is extremely thin on star power; fighters that can really resonate with the casual fan base.

It’s still very early on in his career, but Northcutt has the look and the feel of a future superstar. It’s up to him to continue to develop his tools and not get complacent and it’s up to the UFC not to rush the process. Keep your eye on Northcutt because he is going to be great.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.