UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson. Saturday, December 17, 5pm.
IT’S not often a women’s strawweight fight would be headlining UFC on Fox, but there is plenty of interest surrounding the pin-up girls of the UFC.
Paige Vanzant and Michelle Waterson bring an air of beauty to the octagon, but they’re not headlining because of their looks, it’s their tough ring-craft which has propelled them to the top.
VanZant is a known name in the UFC world, but her opponent and -105 underdog Michelle Waterson hails from the Invicta FC and had only one fight under the UFC banner – which was a submission win at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
Paige VanZant is a 22-year-old fighter who had notable wins against Kailin Curran and Felice Herrig, before losing to Rose Namajunas. She then went on Dancing with the Stars, but returned with a bang when she landed a flying head kick against Bec Rawlings.
It promises to be a furious fight between two women eager to make their mark in the UFC’s lighter weight divisions and the bookmakers are finding it tough to separate them.
Paige Vanzant is the current -125 favourite at 5Dimes and given her history and recent successes in the octagon, we are siding with Paige “12 Gauge” VanZant to score a TKO victory in the second round.
Faber vs. Pickett
Urijah Faber has had plenty of success in the UFC, but arguably he’s one of the most under-performing fighters in the business.
Faber is a winner of 33 professional fights which is a great achievement in its own right, but the 37-year-old isn’t the “California Kid” any more and he’s had his shot at the big time and has come up short.
Fortunately for the ageing Faber, he’s facing an even older Brad Pickett here who is a 38-year-old from London.
Pickett has had a mixed career to date with 37 fights for 25 wins with seven coming by knockout. Known as “One Punch” Pickett has the ability to knock people out with one punch, but this is hardly the co-main event which some fans had hoped for.
Faber is the short -454 favourite and rightfully so. He will likely wear Pickett down, who will going for the big knockout punch, but it’s unlikely that Pickett will be able to get close enough.
Northcutt vs. Gall
In what should be one of the closest fights on the card, young superstar Sage Northcutt takes on fellow youngster Mickey Gall which could be a great clash of styles.
Mickey Gall was won all three professional fights via submission and Sage Northcott is a well-rounded fighter with experience in kickboxing and wrestling.
Northcutt had a total of 15 kickboxing fights and won them all. He has won eight of his nine MMA fights with four coming by knockout and three by submission. He comes into this fight having won by unanimous decision over Enrique Marin at UFC 200 and another close fight is expected.
Gall made headlines by beating WWE star “CM Punk” via a first round submission at UFC 203 and his fight prior was another submission over Mike Jackson which took all of 45 seconds.
The easy fights so far might hurt Gall here, as the experience, despite his age, clearly resides with Northcutt.
We think Sage Northcutt (-105 at 5Dimes) can supply good takedown defense and stifle the attack of Gall in what should be a great technical fight.
Jouban vs. Perry
We would be very surprised if this fight when the full distance as Alan Jouban takes on Mike Perry in the welterweight division.
Jouban has 14 MMA wins to his name with nine coming by knockout, but that pails in comparison to the record held by Perry who has knocked out all nine of his opponents.
Six of those nine knockouts have come in the first round, but it did take him until the third round to defeat Danny Roberts at UFC 204.
Jouban has the experience edge and has taken on some tough opponents in Belal Muhammad and Albert Tumenov. His most recent fight came via unanimous decision, but it was awarded Fight of the Night and this has all the makings of another classic.
Perry has plenty of prove being from Flint, Michigan, and he’s a fighter which could make a tear through the welterweight rankings.
Most of the money has come for Perry at -133 and we think he’s got the power to kick off the main card with a bang.