With the UFC set to make it’s return to Sacramento, California, an evening of quality match-ups will likely come second to what promises to be an emotional moment in MMA history. Urijah Faber will compete in his last bout, so the days of “The California Kid” helping us earn profit are coming to an end.
UFC on FOX: VanZant vs Waterson will be headline by two strawweights or have something to prove. In a division where finding a challenger for current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has become difficult, one of these two will move one step closer to earning themselves a title shot.
While it likely won’t happen with a victory on Saturday night, it will help bump them up the rankings, effectively putting their name in the mix. Should Paige VanZant emerge victorious, she may be thrust into the octagon across from the champ, sooner, rather than later. For Michelle Waterson, I believe a victory will not put her in that position just yet. More work needs to be done on our part.
In looking at this match-up, VanZant (-110) and Waterson (-110) are in pick-em situation. Based on recent competition and size alone, that number for VanZant is pretty damn good. I have her favored in this fight and am surprised by the number. Considering this one is scheduled for five rounds, I can see why the public may like “The Karate Hottie”; she is no stranger to 25 minute bouts.
Her fourth round submission of Jessica Penne was a sight to behold, but that was over three years ago. Not sure she can pull it off again, but if you think she can submit Paige, you can get it for +715. If there’s going to be a finish, I’ll lean towards a VanZant T/KO at +450.
In the co-main event, what Mickey wants, Mickey gets.
After thoroughly dominating CM Punk in September, Mickey Gall called out Sage Northcutt … and the UFC was listening. This bout was put together and the odds have been going up and down. At the time of this writing, Gall is at -115 while Northcutt is at -105. In essence, the money is showing this is a very close match-up.
We may need to remove our recency bias and not allow our prediction to reflect what Gall did to Punk as a forecast of what he will do to Northcutt. I’m of the belief Sage will not put himself in aggressive position, forget about defense, and get taken down to the ground that easily.
I’m leaning more towards three things here: if Northcutt wins, it will likely be by decision (+500). But if anyone is going to pull of a stoppage in this bout, I believe it will be Gall. You can get Mickey via T/KO at +992 or via submission at +160.
As mentioned earlier, this will be the last time we will get to see Urijah Faber compete in MMA. His final opponent will be Brad Pickett, and these two are likely going to put on a show. Faber is a -440 while Pickett is a +360. Speed kills in MMA, and while Faber’s has slowed down a tad, I believe his timing and precision is ahead of Pickett’s. I’m really liking that +535 on Urijah via T/KO.
As for the rest of the card, I would consider the following fun bets to make your evening a roller coaster of a ride, as you enjoy this show:
Alan Jouban via T/KO (+280) over Mike Perry
On the flipside, Mike Perry (+115) over Alan Jouban … someone is likely getting hurt in this fight. I don’t foresee it going the distance
Cole Miller via submission (+335) or via decision (+329) over Mizuto Hirota
Upset City: Bryan Barbarena +300 to win over Colby Covington and heck, why not - Barbarena via T/KO at +950
Irene Aldana via T/KO +220 over Leslie Smith
Do you have any fun bets ready to go for UFC Sacramento? Hit me up at @ShowdownJoe on social media and share your reasoning. I’m always up to see it from everyone else’s perspective.