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UFC on FOX: VanZant vs Waterson - Dec 17


wandshogun09

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Going Back To Cali and the UFC is back on Big FOX on Saturday 17th December. And it's a beauty...

 

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FOX MAIN CARD

Paige VanZant vs Michelle Waterson

Sage Northcutt vs Mickey Gall

Urijah Faber vs Brad Pickett

Alan Jouban vs Mike Perry

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS

Luis Henrique da Silva vs Paul Craig

Cole Miller vs Mizuto Hirota

Bryan Barberena vs Colby Covington

James Moontasri vs Alex Morono

Josh Emmett vs Scott Holtzman

Leslie Smith vs Irene Aldana

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

Takeya Mizugaki vs Eddie Wineland

Fredy Serrano vs Hector Sandoval

Bojan Velickovic vs Sultan Aliev

 

I love this. Especially that main card. Really looking forward to all four fights there for one reason or another.

 

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VanZant vs Waterson is surely the cutest fight in UFC history, right? I think both are fucking adorable. And they've both always came across as really likeable in interviews and stuff as well. It's going to be one of those fights where you don't really want to see either of them lose. Don't let their looks fool you though. If you've never seen these two fight before, you're in for a treat. They can both scrap.

 

Paige VanZant is 22 years old with a 7-2 record. Her 2 losses are to Tecia Torres and Rose Namajunas. She's an exciting fighter to watch. She's non-stop offence and looks for the finish constantly. Her performances against Kailin Curran and Felice Herrig were so much fun to watch. She got derailed in brutal fashion by Namajunas last December though. Just a vicious beatdown at the hands of Thug Rose. But Paige proved she's mentally and physically tough in that fight, which is something we didn't really know before. She rebounded from the loss with a highlight reel knockout of Bec Rawlings on FOX in August. And she won via a fucking crane kick Mr Miyagi would've been proud of!

 

Michelle Waterson is 30 years old with a record of 13-4 and has been a long time member of Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico (which is just down the road from Truth or Consequences, I think). She's the former Invicta Atomweight (yes ATOMweight! 105lbs) champion and had some incredible fights in that promotion against Jessica Penne and Herica Tiburcio. She's always had a really fun style to watch with her karate background plus she's got a pretty good grappling and submission game too. Her fight with Penne was a total grappling war. She's only had one fight in the UFC so far, a satisfying as fuck squashing of Angela 'Vinegar Tits' Magana in July 2015. Injury issues have kept her out of the cage since then.

 

I genuinely don't see any way this fight disappoints. They're both so attacking and aggressive but they also leave themselves vulnerable so it's going to be serious edge of the seat stuff for however long it lasts.

 

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Northcutt vs Gall in the co-main spot is a fight I can't wait to see. It's a pretty rare thing that you see two of the sport's brightest young prospects matched against each other so early on in their careers. Usually promoters try to protect them. Every now and then though, like this one or Garbrandt vs Almeida earlier this year, the UFC will just pull the trigger on one.

 

The reason it's happening really is because Mickey Gall called out Super Sage after his last fight. You remember Gall's last fight?

 

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It was an utter spanking of CM Punk. A complete demolition job as everyone expected. But it got Gall a shitload of media attention and he seemed to welcome and revel in it. He's been very very smart so far in his young career. He's only 24 years old with a 3-0 MMA record but he's already 10x more recognisable than any other 3 fight greenhorn and now he's called out Sage it's the perfect way to keep the spotlight on himself following the Punk win. If he beats Sage he'll only be 4-0 but he'll be more well known and have a higher profile than a huge chunk of the UFC roster just because he's hit the ground running by bagging himself fights with media magnets like Punk and Northcutt. He wasn't picked for any of this either. He's gone out and grabbed it himself. He got himself the Punk fight with the callout on that 'Looking For A Fight' thing. Then he called out Sage after beating Punk. He's really made the most of every bit of microphone and camera time thrown his way.

 

Northcutt is 20 years old and 8-1. He bounced back from his first career loss with a win over Enrique Marin at UFC 200. The hype is strong on Sage, although it's calmed down a bit since his loss. He's undeniably got superstar potential due to his look and his raw skills. But I can't help thinking this fight is bad news all round for him. He's shown weakness on the ground in his last 2 fights (the submission loss to Barberena and the armbar scare against Marin), and Gall is a BJJ brown belt who trains with the Miller brothers every day. Plus Sage is going up to 170 for this. He's usually at 155 and his one career defeat was at 170. Granted it's well documented he was sick going into that fight so it probably wasn't a fair reflection of what he can do at welterweight. But there's enough doubt there to make me think this mightn't have been a wise choice taking this fight.

 

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Faber vs Pickett should be a fan friendly affair. And Faber has already confirmed that this will be his last fight. It's been on the cards for a while now, he's been making little noises about it for a good year or so at least. He's had a great run but he's 37 now (that's a good innings for a lower weight class fighter) and this will be his 44th pro fight. He's starting to pile up the losses more regularly as well, losing 3 of his last 5. It just feels like the time is right. I like that he's not waiting and stubbornly fighting on until he becomes a slurring mush mouthed mess. He seems like an intelligent guy and he's been smart with his money from what I've read over the years so he should be good.

 

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He's had a really fun career. He was one of the pioneers of the lighter weight classes. He was the face of WEC for years as well. Former WEC champ and had awesome fights with Jens Pulver, Mike Brown etc. He's a shoe-in for the UFC HOF as soon as he retires. I'm expecting he'll go in in 2017 around the time of the big July PPV when they usually induct a bunch of guys.

 

I love this Urijah Faber 'California Love' highlight;

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=yayzZ5ioxVI

 

Shame he never got that UFC title. It's all that was really left to do for him. You got the sense when he lost the rubber match to Cruz in June, that he knew it was over. He's had a lot of title shots but that one just felt like a last chance thing and Cruz was just too good. Coming up short again in a title fight, plus losing the trilogy to Cruz in one night, it just seemed like it was over. Add to that a loss to Jimmie Rivera in September and that's the first time Faber's ever suffered back to back losses. The timing to retire, especially with this show being in Sacramento, just seems right.

 

Pickett's been hinting at calling it a day himself for a bit now. This could actually end up being a double farewell. Pickett's been an exciting fighter over the years, Dana White's always said Pickett is one of his favourite fighters. But I think Faber is going to come in determined to go out with a bang here. He's not going to want to finish up with a loss in his backyard in California. And if Faber's on like I think he will be, I expect he'll crush Pickett.

 

I know they usually only show the entrances for the main event on FOX but I hope they make an exception here and show Faber's final walkout. That's going to be a special moment when California Love hits and Faber makes the last walk in Sacramento.

 

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It's a difficult choice on this card but Jouban vs Perry is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. I can see this being a crazy war. Jouban's got form for going in there and just going to battle. You wouldn't think he'd be that type. It goes against what you'd think a model turned MMA fighter would be like. But Jouban doesn't seem to give a fuck. As his slugfests with Belal Muhammad and Matt Dwyer showed. And Mike Perry seems to be the same sort of fighter. Complete cockend from what I've seen of him, and a poor man's Phil Baroni. But he's fun for a wild brawl. His two UFC fights so far (Hyun Gyu Lim and Danny Roberts) were bags of fun. He's unbeaten at 9-0 as well. You can't call anything a certain in MMA but this should be a surefire corker.

 

Not that bothered about the undercard but a couple of little bits and pieces...

 

Mizugaki vs Wineland could be a good ruck. It'll probably be mostly a boxing match but I do wonder if Mizugaki's punch resistance is going.

 

Barberena vs Covington will probably be a snoozer, I find Covington a bit boring, but I'm oddly intrigued by it anyway. Barberena is the guy who crashed the Super Sage hype train and I'm curious to see how he does against a strong wrestler like Covington.

 

• And Irene Aldana is the latest to jump from Invicta to the UFC. She's a Mexican bantamweight with a 7-2 record and wins over former UFC fighters/TUF contestants Jessamyn Duke and Peggy Morgan. She's got Leslie Smith who's always up for a brawl and is a solid debut test for Aldana, but one I expect her to pass.

 

Not in love with the undercard but that main card more than makes up for it. Hopefully it all stays intact because it's one of the most exciting main cards of 2016 on paper. Reminds me of a WEC card actually.

 

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Get talking about it.

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the UFC are spoiling us running into Xmas aren't they :) December is awesome.

 

Another cracking main card, if the UFC continue to pump out these shows, as long as they are putting on solid main cards im happy for them to do so. Pickett bowing out in front of his home crowd should be a special moment.

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It was Faber who first got me watching WEC. The build-up to the fight with Pulver in mid-2008 got me hooked. I couldn't wait for that show. I can't say I watched every WEC show from thereon, but I watched most of their major shows. I always associate Faber with the WEC. 

 

It will be sad to see him go. However, as said, he has had a great innings for lighter-weight fighter. I can only think of Diego Sanchez who has been a fixture at the lighter weights for as long as Faber has. Remember, Faber was gaining attention in smaller shows around 2005/2006 time. I frequently saw his name mentioned on Sherdog forums. The UFC didn't have a place for him at the time, as they barely had a Lightweight division, let alone a Featherweight class.

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It was Faber who first got me watching WEC. The build-up to the fight with Pulver in mid-2008 got me hooked. I couldn't wait for that show. I can't say I watched every WEC show from thereon, but I watched most of their major shows. I always associate Faber with the WEC. 

same for me Jim, Faber's a big reason why i branched out. He's probably the only non-UFC/Pride guy who came off as a genuine superstar back in the day, his influence can't be overstated. Faber's the man.

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That's a fantastic main card, that is. Every fight has something I want to see.

 

Vanzant vs Waterson has name appeal, plus should turn out to be a tremendous fight, and that's not even indulging in the title implications this could have for both women. There's no clear-cut #1 contender at the minute, so a win for either woman would be massive. Faber's retirement is going to be massive, and the likely prospect of him being Pickett, who looked done against Alcantara, in his home-town no less is going to be a sight. Gall did enough to make me care about him and Sage, and that's not even getting into the booking of two young, talented guys with a jarring clash of personality. Even Platinum Perry does something for me! Sure, he's a cock, but he's damn entertaining to watch.

 

Great matchmaking here by the UFC, really excited for this.

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It's going to be devastating seeing one of the headliners lose.

 

Both are so likeable and well, you know.

 

I think Waterson is more skilful but Van Zant's tenacity may get her the win.

 

To echo everyone else's view, a great little main card. Personally can't wait to see Assuncao vs Sterling. Will be interesting to see if Sterling can rebound against a top opponent. Big test for him.

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Would be great to see Pickett/Faber have a classic then both hang up their gloves, but the London show has to be the last fight for Pickett doesn't it? Unless he goes out there and waxes Faber, that might encourage him to stay on.

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Yeah, Pickett will probably hang on for the London show in March and then call it a day. And let's be honest, if he retires on the very same night as Faber retires in Sacramento, he won't really get his moment because that's Faber country and Faber's the bigger star and a legend regardless. His retirement is a bigger thing than Pickett's. Sounds harsh but that's the way it is.

 

I'd like to see a fan friendly fight for Pickett on the London card. Looking at the bantamweight division, if I had my way I'd do Brad Pickett vs KID Yamamoto. That has all the ingredients of a wild fight and it's exactly the sort of fight that Pickett would love, I reckon. But you can never rely on KID to stay in one piece long enough to make it through a training camp these days. What I'd do is book Pickett vs KID for London, and have Albert Morales as backup for if (sorry, when) KID gets injured again.

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Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson interview on some news thing...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=yH9IFKe1xjc

 

And a quote from Waterson;

 

"I think it’s great. I even sent her a tweet while she was on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ You know what they say, ‘Don’t hate the player, hate the game,’ and her game is good. I can’t hate on that. She’s a beautiful person, she’s a great dancer. As far as her fighting skills, I wouldn’t go as far as to say she’s amazing. But, she is where she is now because of her hard work and I look forward to fighting her in December."

 

"I feel like she is just very green in the whole aspect of fighting. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I feel that’s why she has been winning a lot of her fights. It’s just like dancing -- if you dance with someone who doesn’t know how to dance, it will throw your rhythm off. And that’s what Paige is doing in a sense in the fighting game. Her style is very erratic, and it’s unpredictable and it’s throwing these girls off because they are used to sparring with people that have a fight rhythm. She just doesn’t have that, so it’s throwing people off."

 

"I know that Paige is athletic, but she comes from a dance background and I've been doing martial arts as long as she's probably been alive. I've no idea how old she is. I've been doing this a long time and I believe I'll be able to use all of the skills I have learned in the last 20 years. I've been a martial artist for over 20 years and I think that will be the difference in this fight."

I think Waterson wins this fight, to be honest. Looks like I'm the only one thinking that way judging by the poll so far though. I just think she's got the better all-round technique and her overall experience edge is pretty big. She's not been in the UFC as long but she's had 5 rounders in Invicta so that's not going to be anything new to her either. I'm not dismissing Paige's chances, it's not like it's a particularly easy fight to call. But I think it's a very difficult and tricky test for Paige, and one that I'm not altogether sure she's ready for. If wasn't long ago she got butchered by Rose Namajunas, I don't really see where she's improved since and I'd say Waterson is just as tough a test as Namajunas was, if not tougher.

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So this has quietly snuck up amongst the other many UFC cards. I actually think this might be a good little card, despite flying under the radar a bit. Faber/Pickett should be a fun fight,  Hoping for wins for Waterson and Gall too. 

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The main card of this is gonna be a real good short, snappy card before Xmas. I like these strong 4 fight cards.

 

Surprised to see that Sage Northcutt opens up as the underdog against Gall as well. Super Sage is going on my betslip.

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