UFC on FOX 22: VanZant vs. Waterson picks and preview

The weekend is here and that means another night of fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. On Saturday night, the Octagon heads to Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. for UFC on FOX 22.

In the main event, UFC strawweight contenders Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson look to gain some momentum and begin a win streak in the division when they go head-to-head in what promises to be an action-packed thriller.

Hometown hero Urijah Faber will also step into the cage for the final fight of his incredible MMA career.

And while a pioneer of the lighter weight classes is hanging up his gloves, to of the sport’s young guns will battle it out to see who can establish themselves as the “next big thing.”

How will tonight’s action play out? Let’s take a look at how the fight’s on tonight’s FOX main card could go down and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Prelims

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Luis Henrique da Silva def. Paul Craig
Mizuto Hirota def. Cole Miller
Bryan Barberena def. Colby Covington
James Moontasri def. Alex Morono
Josh Emmett def. Scott Holtzman
Irene Aldana def. Leslie Smith
Takeya Mizugaki def. Eddie Wineland
Hector Sandoval def. Fredy Serrano
Bojan Velickovic def. Sultan Aliev


Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry

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What a fun way to start off the main card.

This is a bout almost guaranteed to deliver a knockout, with two men standing toe-to-toe who are never afraid to slug it out in search of a crowd-pleasing knockout. So who has the edge?

While both men are willing to trade and have impressive stand up, it will be the experience and clinch game of Jouban that allows him to outwork his opponent before finding the opening for a fight-ending blow.

The Pick: Alan Jouban def. Mike Perry via TKO (Round 2)


Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett

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It is the final fight of Urijah Faber’s illustrious career and it comes in the Team Alpha Male leader’s backyard. While all signs point to a Faber win, Pickett is also no slouch and the grizzly vet has some legitimate knockout power.

However, with the stage that has been set and Faber’s speed advantage, look for him to go out and finish his career with a highlight win.

The Pick: Urijah Faber def. Brad Picket via submission (Round 2)


Sage Northcutt vs. Mickey Gall

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Two of MMA’s young guns go head-to-head in a bout that will tell us a lot about where these two men stand going into the future.

Both featured on the UFC Fight Pass series “Dana White: Looking For A Fight,” they have been billed as “the next big thing.” However, on Saturday night, one of the hype trains will be derailed.

Gall has yet to fight any legitimate UFC talent, taking on a debuting Mike Jackson and WWE star CM Punk, while Northcutt has a flashy style that captivates the crowd. Unfortunately for Northcutt, Gall’s style could be a nightmare matchup.

Gall is relentless and will push the pace and constantly keep the pressure on Northcutt while trying to gas him out. When that happens, look for Gall to take the fight to the mat where his impressive submission game will spell the end of “Super” Sage’s night.

The Pick: Mickey Gall def. Sage Northcutt via submission (Round 2)


Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson

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VanZant and Waterson are two of the top strawweight contenders the UFC has to offer, and their relentless styles should make for an exciting fight.

For VanZant, the key to victory is using her size and strength, while Waterson is capable of using her technical striking to keep opponents at range. Interestingly enough, in VanZant’s last fight, she tried to show off her improved standup against Bec Rawlings by staying on her feet and kickboxing.

If that’s the strategy against Waterson, it’s not going to go well for the Dancing With The Stars runner-up.

As long as Waterson is able to weather the early storm that VanZant’s aggressive style will bring, she has the ability to pick her shots her outpoint her opponent en route to a decision win in front of a hostile crowd.

The Pick: Michelle Waterson def. Paige VanZant via unanimous decision

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