UFC On FOX 22 takes place tomorrow night in Sacremento, California and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson
Waterson is the more experienced fighter heading into this match-up and is also has the more polished technique, particularly on the feet where she’ll put together assured combinations of punches and kicks.
Despite her eye-catching head kick KO last time out, the 22 year-old PVZ is still a work in progress and can struggle to find her range and rhythm.
That being said she’s proven she can take a punch and she’s a good athlete, which can make up for some of the holes in her technical game. In particular her strength and aggression works in her favor in the clinch and on top on the mat and she has good instincts in scrambles.
Waterson is capable on the mat, but it’s not her forte, and my feeling is that if PVZ can avoid getting sucked into a fight purely fought on the feet, then she’ll get the better of the grappling exchanges and emerge with a decision victory.
PVZ to win by decision.
Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt
Both of these fighters are still at a very early stage in their careers, and if it hadn’t been for Dana White’s ‘looking For A Fight’ show they’d probably still be learning their trade on the regional circuit at the moment.
It’s hard to judge Gall at this stage given that even his opponents in the Octagon have been well short of what we’d normally expect to see from a UFC caliber fighter, but nevertheless, he does look like a solid prospect, who looks assured on the mat.
On the other hand, the 20 year-old Northcutt has some obvious holes in his game, particularly on the mat, where he often makes fundamental errors on top and looks vulnerable from his back.
Northcutt’s strongest suit is his striking and that’s a potential route to victory, but I think Gall is the better fighter overall at this time and will get him to the mat and find a submission finish inside of 10 minutes.
Mickey Gall to win by submission in Rd2.
Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett
Faber’s long and distinguished career will finally draw to a close on Saturday night in front of his home town fans in Sacremento with a final fight against another veteran in the twilight years of his career in Pickett.
Both men have shown clear signs that they are no longer operating at the same level as in their prime, but I’d expect they’ll still put on a show for the fans here.
Pickett is a solid all-rounder and these days likes to slug it out on the feet at a fairly high tempo, but his reactions and chin aren’t as sharp as they once were, which has been an issue in recent times.
Faber can match Pickett’s tempo and should be fairly competitive on the feet, but he’s always been at his best on the mat, and I think that’s where he eventually will win this fight, with his strength, control on top, swift scrambles and threat from choke based submissions leading to a late tap-out that will allow him to retire on a high note.
Urijah Faber to win by submission in Rd3.
Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry
This should be an entertaining fight to start the main card off, with both of these 170lb up and comers possessing the kind of offensive striking that can finish fights sooner rather than later.
Jouban is the more experienced of the two and has more variety in his striking techniques and a broader skill-set overall, but Perry packs seriously heavy leather, so this one could go either way.
Overall, Jouban has more ways to win, either at close range or distance though, so I think he’ll emerge with a stoppage victory after some high-octane exchanges in the Octagon.
Alan Jouban to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Paul Craig vs. Luis Henrique da Silva
Mizuto Hirota vs. Cole Miller
Bryan Barberena vs. Colby Covington
Alex Morono vs. James Moontasri
Josh Emmett vs. Scott Holtzman
Irene Aldana vs. Leslie Smith
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Eddie Wineland
Hector Sandoval vs. Fredy Serrano
Sultan Aliev vs. Bojan Velickovic