After Sage Northcutt Was Destroyed by Cosmo Alexandre at the Weekend, Fans Are Asking the Same Question… Just How Good is the UFC Right Now? 

Sage Northcutt and Eddie Alvarez both found out the hard way that ONE Championship is not going to be a place where they can smash a few heads and make a quick buck. Both men were brutally beaten up in their debut fights for the Asian promotion, the second biggest on the planet.

Heck, even Demetrious Johnson didn’t have it all his own way against Japanese fighter Yuya Wakamatsu on his own debut with the organization. This raises the question: just how good is the UFC today compared to the other promotions on the planet and is there actually much difference between the quality of fighters on their respective rosters.

The short answer is yes, the UFC is definitely still the most talent-rich, but it’s much closer than you might think. Especially when you look at the lighter weight classes.

Talent Rich

The problem for the UFC is that with almost 1000 fighters on the roster now, there is definitely going to be some dilution in overall quality. However, make no mistake: champions like Khabib Nurmagamedov, Daniel Cormier, Valentina Shevchenko, Kamaru Usman and Jon Jones are absolutely elite MMA fighters and definitely the best in their respective divisions on the planet.

Can you imagine ONE’s Aung La N Sang beating Jon Jones? Or former UFC heavyweight Brandon Vera beating Daniel Cormier? Of course not. The heavier divisions are typically the thinnest in MMA, and the UFC definitely has the strongest heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions. This is where quality control definitely shines through.


When you look at the individual situations of Eddie Alvarez, Sage Northcutt and Demetrious Johnson, it’s probably not that surprising that they had tough debuts. Alvarez has been through wars with Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier his chin has definitely been softened. At the age of 35, there’s definitely a reason why the UFC was willing to let the former champion walk away. He is no longer elite and would not have been in title contention if he stayed.

Similarly, the UFC was also happy for Sage Northcutt to walk away. He was on a three-fight winning streak, after a patchy start to his UFC career. He’d also been the subject of a massive amount of marketing but they clearly felt that he wasn’t going to be contending anytime soon. ONE was happy to pick him up, but they showed that he’s still a prospect, not an elite bracket fighter when the 23-year-old was melted by Cosmo Alexandre’s first punch.

Johnson’s situation is slightly different. First of all, he did win his fight and quite impressively. Wakamatsu did mark up DJ’s face a bit but his overaggressive approach is what ultimately cost him the fight as Johnson was able to slickly submit him. It was a tough start for arguably one of the greatest fighters in UFC history against a Japanese fighter in Japan. Does ONE have the best flyweight on the planet in the American? Yes undoubtedly. You’d fancy him to beat Henry Cejudo.


The problem for ONE is that the UFC is a marketing machine and also has the most depth. ONE’s champions could definitely be contenders for titles in the UFC. But ONE’s top 10 fighters in each division would probably fall outside the top-15 in the UFC. The same can be said for Bellator.

However, the gap is certainly closing and the Asian promotion has found a niche in having kickboxing and Muay Thai fights on the same cards as MMA. The UFC is still the biggest and the best. For now…

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