UFC fighter Sage Northcutt might look fierce inside The Octagon, but in real life, the Christian athlete has a heart of gold and a soft spot for the wellbeing of children.
"He's the Tim Tebow of the UFC," his mother Becky Northcutt tells The Bleacher Report.
Northcutt says the best thing about the UFC is that he is given the platform to be a good role model for fellow athletes and other people. When his fans reached out to him about an 11-year-old cancer patient in need of his help, Northcutt took the initiative to create a GoFundMe site for him.
Helping other people just comes naturally for the mixed martial artist. When he was just a seventh- and eighth-grader, Northcutt made it a point to eat with special-needs students at lunch because he "didn't want them to feel separated."
His friendship with them sent a strong and positive message to his peers, who followed his example. During his free time at karate tournaments, Northcutt would even talk to his competitors about God and the Bible, as well as the importance of attending church.
Because of his selflessness and kind-hearted spirit, it does not come as any surprise that Northcutt was voted homecoming king at Katy High School in Texas, not to mention "Most Outstanding Senior."
Northcutt was actually considering a career in engineering before getting serious in his martial arts career in the lightweight division of the UFC. His father Mark reportedly told him, "You've wanted to be in the UFC since you were nine. You've won all these fights, and you haven't even been training. Let's just do it a little longer and see what happens. This is your calling. This is your vehicle to spread the gospel."
Northcutt listened to his father, and their hard work and sacrifice have paid off. Brett Robinson, Northcutt's long-time private wrestling coach, cannot help but commend Northcutt for bringing "a different element to the UFC."
"You see a lot of bad-boy types who feed off the negative stuff. Sage is the opposite. Fans just think he's a pretty boy now, but the more they get to know him, the more they'll realise who he truly is," Robinson said.