CURRENT RECORD 178-98-3
UFC on Fox this Saturday in Sacramento, California is the venue for veteran Uriah “The California Kid” Faber’s final walk to the octagon. Faber will end his 13 year professional career in his home state and Team Alpha Male’s hometown this Saturday against Englishman Brad “One Punch” Pickett. Headlining this event is Faber’s protégé and star pupil Paige VanZant who aims to make the next step up the ladder when taking on Michelle Waterson. The co-main event pits two of the welterweight divisions’ best prospects against one another as Sage Northcutt comes up against Mickey Gall. Elsewhere on the card there are exciting match ups between Alan Jouban and Mike Perry, Bryan Barberena will take on Colby Covington, Eddie Wineland and Takeya Mizugaki will collide in a bantamweight fight and in the light-heavyweight division there is a debut for the undefeated Scottish native Paul Craig as he takes on the, also, undefeated Luis Henrique da Silva. An intriguing night of fights, with many evenly matched bouts, so as always be sure to be tuned in so you don’t miss out.
As always, I will now break down all the main card fights, give my predictions and of course put my own “Armchair Expert” title on the line.
PAIGE VAN ZANT vs. MICHELLE WATERSON
“12 Gauge” bounced back from the first submission loss of her career by stopping Bec Rawlings in spectacular fashion in the second round last time out. VanZant is a fighter whose stock is on the rise and at only 22 years of age she has potential in abundance. Her game is built around her speed and her clever footwork; she is constantly on the move and always pushing forward. She has quick hands and a great ground game but at times her fight IQ can let her down by allowing herself to be sucked into a brawl. Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson is a former women’s atom weight champion and a vastly experienced fighter, having fought 17 times, 13-4. Waterson has an evenly balanced game and is comfortable wherever the fight takes place; she is a strong southpaw with a keen eye for a submission. Waterson’s negative for this fight could be her inactivity; she has only fought three times in the past three years and this could come down youth versus experience. VanZant is far from the finished article and this will be a stiff test but I feel she has shown enough thus far to be able to overpower and overwhelm Waterson. Once PVZ sticks to her own game plan she should win this by decision.
VanZant by decision.
SAGE NORTHCUTT vs. MICKEY GALL
This will be a battle of the potential future stars of the sport. Both men are at the beginning of their careers and a win here for either man could show them as the real deal. “Super Sage” was being described as the next big thing after winning his first 7 fights; all by an early stoppage before being sent crashing back to earth by Bryan Barberena in January last. He then bounced back with a dominant display over Enrique Martin at UFC 200 but that loss showed Northcutt’s vulnerability on the mat. Mickey Gall has only had three professional fights so far and all three have ended by submission in the first round; including defeating CM Punk at UFC 203. Gall hasn’t really spent enough time inside the octagon to show what his overall game is like but what we do know is he is extremely dangerous on the mat. Northcutt likes to fight from range and pick opponents off but I think Gall will look to get inside and make this fight ugly, eventually dragging the fight to the ground. Northcutt joined the Tri-Star gym before deciding to head elsewhere, Mickey Gall has now begun training in Tri-Star and that could be Northcutt’s downfall. I expect Firas Zahabi to expose Northcutt’s weakness’s and for Gall to get the victory, more than likely through a submission.
Gall by submission.
URIJAH FABER vs. BRAD PICKETT
Urijah Faber has been one of the elite fighters in the lighter division but despite several attempts he has never won a belt with the UFC. In fact he holds the unsavoury record of “most losses in title fights” which stands at seven. In spite of this, Faber has been one of the best to grace the octagon; he is an extremely durable wrestler with dominant ground and pound and loves to lock in a submission. For his swansong he will be facing another veteran of the sport; Brad Pickett. “One Punch” hasn’t had an easy run the past two years; only winning twice and losing the other four but even in his poor run of form Pickett has still always brought the fight. Pickett has struggled before with wrestlers and Faber will probably be the best wrestler he has ever faced so unless Faber decides to stand and bang; I don’t see Pickett having many opportunities to win this. This should be one last dominant display from “The California Kid” and I’m going with him to end his career in style.
Faber by submission.
ALAN JOUBAN vs. MIKE PERRY
Mike Perry came into the UFC with an undefeated record of 7 wins and 7 KO’S. He has since continued that trend by knocking out Hyun Gyu Lim on short notice at UFC 202 and then quickly following that up by knocking out Danny Roberts at UFC 204. On Saturday he will face his toughest test when taking on Alan Jouban. Jouban also has heavy hands, having collected 9 KO victories of his own but there is a lot more to the 35 year olds game. “Brahma” has a strong wrestling base and works well from the clinch, both these positions I expect him to attempt to execute against Perry. Jouban will look to avoid getting into a brawl as it is clear Perry has genuine power in his hands and will instead look to frustrate him for the three rounds. Perry can take a punch; and can certainly dish them out and I believe his wrestling is of a good enough level that he won’t be trapped on the ground for long. I think Perry finds a way to get another early finish and takes this to improve his record to 10-0.
Perry by knockout.
Best of the Rest.
Luis Henrique da Silva vs. Paul Craig
Henrique da Silva to win.
Cole Miller vs. Mizuto Hirota
Miller to win.
Bryan Barberena vs. Colby Covington
Barberena to win.
James Moontasri vs. Alex Morono
Morono to win.
Josh Emmett vs. Scott Holtzman
Emmett to win.
Leslie Smith vs. Irene Aldana
Aldana to win.
Eddie Wineland vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Wineland to win.
Hector Sandoval vs. Fredy Serrano
Sandoval to win.
Bojan Velickovic vs. Sultan Aliev
Aliev to win.
Bet of the Day.
The adventurous bet: all 13 predictions in an accumulator is about 1317/1.
The inbetweener bet: Wineland, Henrique, Perry, Faber and Gall all to win is 6/1.
The conservative bet: Mike Perry to win by KO is 9/5.
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