UFC Sacramento was an event that involved some of the UFC’s hottest prospects facing off to take their name into the top 10 picture of their weight class. Here are 7 things we can take from the event.
Michelle Waterson is here to challenge for the title in the Women’s strawweight division
Michelle Waterson came in with a height and reach disadvantage against Paige VanZant. Previously the Invicta FC Atomweight champion, which is 10 pounds lighter, The Karate Hottie is by no means one of the biggest in this division – but she definitely has the skills. Initially keeping Paige at bay with low side kicks, she took her down with a beautiful throw and easily finished the fight in the first round with a rear naked choke. Her next opponent could very well be a title eliminator match.
Paige VanZant still has a long way to go to compete at the top
Everybody loves Paige VanZant, she’s pretty, she’s fun, always smiling and gives it her all in the octagon. However, it was clear in Sacramento that her skills do not warrant her as a headliner yet. She’s clearly got potential as shown by her switch kick finish against Rawlings, but you have to wonder if she is focused enough on her UFC career. Her dance offs in the weigh ins and talking of all the things she wants to do outside of the octagon are not going to win her UFC gold anytime soon.
Urijah Faber bows out on a good note
Urijah Faber went to battle with Brad “One Punch” Pickett and although he did not get the finish he would have liked, he looked good in his final bout. The California Kid will be missed and has had a fantastic career in the UFC, amassing 34 wins in MMA across Bantamweight and Featherweight including being the only person to beat Bantamweight king, Dominick Cruz.
What a start to UFC for Mickey Gall
First he gets to be the guy to take out Pro Wrestling superstar CM Punk and now a win against Sage Northcutt, followed by a challenge to veteran KO artist Dan Hardy. Gall is quickly making a name for himself as a high profile headhunter and at his age he still has plenty of potential to tap into. He said he would turn the fight with Sage into a dog fight and he did just that, his style is not packed with flair but it’s awkward for his opponents and gets the job done. He finished the fight in the 2nd round locked Sage’s arm up and dragged him across into an overhand, followed up with some dominant jiu-jitsu to get the submission victory.
Scotland have a solid prospect in the UFC
Scotland’s Paul Craig looked great in his victory against Henrique da Silva who was undefeated prior to the bout. Paul worked well in the clinch catching da Silva with knees and uppercuts in between tussling for position. The ex-footballer looked comfortable standing or on the ground finally submitting da Silva in round 2 by armbar. It’s early days yet but a memorable debut for the former BAMMA Light Heavyweight champion and a well earned Performance of the Night bonus.
Alan Jouban has shown he can take it to the next level
Alan Jouban dismantled the hype train of undefeated knockout artist Mike Perry, as he claimed the decision win. As expected Perry pressed the action in the early stages in what everyone expected to be a slugfest. However Jouban showed a much more patient game and kept out of reach of Perry’s strikes. He was able to pick Perry off with pinpoint accuracy and very much deserved the victory.
Leslie Smith bounces back from her savage defeat against Cyborg
Leslie Smith must have taken notes on Cyborg’s style as she came out all guns blazing. She ended up winning a unanimous decision against Irene Aldana and bagging herself the Fight of the Night bonus. A terrific display of heart after the beating she took from Cyborg in her last bout.