Next generation: Take 2.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) up-and-comers Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt are back in starring roles this Saturday evening (Dec. 17, 2016), taking on Michelle Waterson and Mickey Gall, respectively, in the lead fights of UFC on FOX 22, which takes place inside Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. The FOX Sports broadcast will also feature the farewell fight for mixed martial arts (MMA) pioneer, Urijah Faber, who will square off with fellow veteran Brad Pickett, while Alan Jouban dukes it out with Mike Perry.
UFC on FOX 22 is ripe with the potential for memorable finishes and massive payouts. I can’t control the former, but I can help with the latter.
What Went Wrong?
Actually came out on top last weekend with UFC Fight Night 102 and UFC 206, no thanks to Frankie Perez and Jordan Mein.
Perez had his fight with Marc Diakiese in the bag. "Bonecrusher" had burned himself out with inefficient takedowns in the early going and been thoroughly outclassed on the mat in the second round. Then Perez threw three consecutive naked low kicks against his corner’s advice and heedless of the fact that Diakiese had already tried to catch the first two.
He was visibly pissed off at himself after the bell rang, so hopefully he learned something.
Mein I feel considerably less sympathy for. I am always loathe to use the term, but he quit against Emil Meek. He did absolutely nothing off of his back against a man with damaged ribs who had, by his own admission, never shot for a double-leg in his professional career. Whether because of exhaustion or a mental break, he gave up.
UFC on FOX 22 Odds For The Undercard:
Luis Henrique da Silva (-225) vs. Paul Craig (+185)
Mizuto Hirota (-120) vs. Cole Miller (EVEN)
Colby Covington (-360) vs. Bryan Barberena (+300)
Alex Morono (-115) vs. James Moontasri (-105)
Josh Emmett (-190) vs. Scott Holtzman (+165)
Irene Aldana (-310) vs. Leslie Smith (+255)
Eddie Wineland (-220) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (+180)
Hector Sandoval (-125) vs. Fredy Serrano (+105)
Bojan Velickovic (-155) vs. Sultan Aliev (+135)
Thoughts: Oh hey, it’s my old friend. the sunk-cost fallacy. What’s that, buddy? I should recommend a bet on James Moontasri again? Good idea!
In all seriousness, Alex Morono is nowhere near the wrestler that Kevin Lee and Alex Oliveira are and, on the feet, "Moonwalker’s" raw power and massive kicking arsenal hold the edge. His ceiling may not be as high as I once thought it was, but it will take a lot more than questionably scraping past Kyle Noke for me to pick someone over Moontasri.
Go for it!
Sultan Aliev’s the risky pick of the event. Velickovic really doesn’t have much going for him besides sheer size and strength, neither of which he uses to their greatest potential. Aliev’s more proven on the world stage, is more technical and powerful on the feet, and has quality wrestling to back it up. The layoff is a worry, but that just lowers the recommended bet instead of scouring it entirely.
UFC On FOX 22 Odds For The Main Card:
Paige VanZant (-115) vs. Michelle Waterson (-105)
Mickey Gall (-125) vs. Sage Northcutt (+105)
Urijah Faber (-440) vs. Brad Pickett (+350)
Mike Perry (-130) vs. Alan Jouban (+110)
Thoughts: I feel like the hype train has kind of got away from Mickey Gall and Mike Perry -- I’m honestly extremely surprised that they’re favorites.
Look, I get that Northcutt was criminally overhyped. I get that he’ll never live up to his full potential under his father’s sole tutelage. I get that he didn’t look good against Enrique Marin. None of that changes the fact that Gall has a grand total of three professional MMA fights, all of which were against debuting fighters and one of which was against C.M. freaking Punk.
For all of his many faults, Northcutt is your man.
Perry is a fun, entertaining fighter with heavy hands. He’s also extraordinarily limited in his striking and has no wrestling to back it up. Worse, he’s been dropped hard in the recent past. Jouban got knocked out last year, to be fair, but that was courtesy of Albert Tumenov’s pile-driver fists. "Brahma" has proven his durability in brawls with Seth Baczynski, Matt Dwyer and Belal Muhammad. His edge in experience and raw firepower should carry him to victory.
You could also probably put a bit on Waterson -- I am nowhere near convinced VanZant has fixed the lingering flaws in her game, jumping switch-kick knockout be damned.
UFC On FOX 22 Best Bets:
- Single bet -- James Moontasri: Bet $42 to make $40
- Single bet --Sultan Aliev: Bet $30 to make $40.50
- Single bet -- Michelle Waterson: Bet $31.50 to make $30
- Single bet -- Sage Northcutt: Bet $50 to make $52.50
- Single bet -- Alan Jouban: Bet $50 to make $55
UFC on FOX 22 features the future, as well as the past -- for free -- which is more than good enough for me on a Saturday evening. See you there, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC on FOX 22 results on fight night, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.