For the final time in 2016, the UFC will be on the Fox network, with an attention-worthy card. The event will be headlined by a women’s strawweight division fight as Paige VanZant takes on MIchelle Waterson. Also, Sage Northcutt takes on Mickey Gall and Urijah Faber will be competing for the final time as he enters retirement.
UFC Women’s Strawweight Division Fight
Paige VanZant (7-2-0) vs. Michelle Waterson (13-4-0)
VanZant has won four of five fights under the UFC banner, defeating Kailin Curran, Felice Herrig, Alex Chambers and Bec Rawlings, while suffering a lone defeat to Rose Namajunas. Waterson is currently undefeated under the UFC banner, defeating Angela Magana at the UFC Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale. VanZant will be headlining her second UFC event, she lost her first UFC main event to Rose Namajunas at UFC Fight Night 80. Waterson is a former Invicta Fighting Championships Atomweight Champion, she defeated Jessica Penne at Invicta FC 5 to win the belt.
Prediction: Waterson has the striking skills to keep VanZant at bay, but VanZant is usually a reckless fighter and just comes forward with pressure, Waterson catches her in the fourth round for a TKO finish.
UFC Welterweight Division Fight
Mickey Gall (3-0-0) vs. Sage Northcutt (8-1-0)
Gall has already won two fights under the UFC banner, those wins came over the duo of Michael Jackson and CM Punk. Northcutt has won three of four fights under the UFC banner, defeating Francisco Trevino, Cody Pfister and Enrique Marin, while suffering a single loss to Bryan Barberena. Gall’s only other fight as a pro came at a Dead Serious MMA event, where he defeated Ron Templeton by first round submission. Northcutt did hold a championship as an amateur fighter, as he was the Legacy Fighting Championships Amateur Welterweight Champion.
Prediction: Gall is really unproven at this point in his still young career, while Northcutt is aggressive when it comes to both takedowns and ground work, Northcutt finishes Gall with ground and pound in the first round.
UFC Bantamweight Division Fight
Urijah Faber (33-10-0) vs. Brad Pickett (25-12-0)
Faber has only won just one of his last four fights, defeating Frankie Saenz, while suffering defeats to Dominick Cruz, Frankie Edgar and Jimmie Rivera. Pickett has only won just one of his last five fights, defeating Francisco Rivera, while suffering losses to Ian McCall, Chico Camus, Thomas Almeida and Iuri Alcantara. Faber is a former WEC Bantamweight Champion, he would defend the belt five times before losing it to Mike Brown. Pickett will be competing on his first UFC On Fox card, as he previous bouts came after Fight Night and pay-per-view events for the UFC.
Prediction: Pickett has a highly underrated ground game, but Faber’s is one of the best in MMA, Faber grounds and then submits Pickett in the opening round.
UFC Welterweight Division Fight
Alan Jouban (14-4-0) vs. Mike Perry (9-0-0)
Jouban will be entering the fight on a two fight winning streak, with those victories coming over Belal Muhammad and Brendan O’Reilly. Perry has already earned two victories in his UFC career, defeating the duo of Hyun Gyu Lim and Danny Roberts. Jouban has already held two titles in his career, as he is a former Resurrection Fighting Alliance Welterweight Champion and a former Rumble On The Range Welterweight Champion. Perry has yet to see any of his professional MMA fights go the distance and he has only seen one fight make it to the third round.
Prediction: This fight is going to be a front runner for fight of the night, Jouban has better variety in his striking and he uses that to win a close decision.
Preliminary Card Quick Picks
Luis Henrique Da Silva over Paul Craig
Mizuto Hirota over Cole Miller
Bryan Barberena over Colby Covington
James Moontasri over Alex Morono
Scott Holtzman over Josh Emmett
Irene Aldana over Leslie Smith
Eddie Wineland over Takeya Mizugaki
Hector Sandoval over Fredy Serrano
Bojan Velickovic over Sultan Aliev