As one of the last UFC events of the year, it is relatively solid with a few fights of intrigue. But the pickings are slim when it comes to getting the most bang for your betting dollar. MMA Expert writer Andreas Hale, provides his run down of the event.
This weekend, the UFC heads to Sacramento for a UFC on Fox card headlined by Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson. But for MMA fans, it is best known as Urijah Faber's final fight in front of his hometown fans before the living legend heads off into retirement.
The main event finds two rising talents in the women's strawweight division jockeying for position to eventually challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title. VanZant is a budding star who is coming into her own as a threat. Under Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male VanZant has looked solid during her UFC tenure. She ran into a major speed bump when she was thoroughly outclassed by Rose Namajunas but made up for it with a highlight reel finish of Bec Rawlings via switch kick back in August. The finish quelled any thoughts that PVZ's head was in the clouds after her tenure on Dancing With The Stars. A victory over Waterson would all but cement herself in the upper echelon of the division.
As for Waterson, “The Karate Hottie” is the former Invicta Atomweight champion and was solid in her UFC debut when she submitted Angela Magana. It can be argued that VanZant has faced stiffer competition but they are quite evenly matched. PVZ may be the better wrestler while Waterson has a slight edge in striking. It's the reason why VanZant and Waterson opened up as -115 and -105, respectively. Too close to call and no value makes this fight one you should stay away from.
The co-main event finds another pair of rising stars squaring off as Mickey Gall and Sage Northcutt face each other. Another intriguing matchup as Gall infamously demolished former WWE superstar CM Punk back in September and immediately called out Northcutt. But Northcutt is a far different beast than the very green Punk. “Super” Sage is a world class talent but is not the legal drinking age in the United States and still learning a great deal about the nuances of mixed martial arts. He learned the hard way when he was submitted by Bryan Barberena back in January but bounced back with a unanimous decision victory over Enrique Marin.
Both are still new to the UFC and learning but showcase respective strengths that could carry them through to victory. Northcutt is a virtual dynamo on the feet with his martial arts training starting at the age of four. But he has some holes in his ground game that Gall will certainly look to take advantage of. As for Gall, he's 3-0 but hasn't faced anybody like Northcutt as of yet. If you're lucky and can find Northcutt at a +100, it's worth a shot. But most places have Gall at around -115 and Northcutt at -105. Another one to stay away from.
“Platinum” Mike Perry is unbeaten in his MMA career and will look to continue that streak against Alan Jouban. Perry has devastating power as evidenced by his 9-0 record with all of his victories coming by way of knockout. As solid of a competitor as Jouban is, I'm a little surprised that the line is only -105 for this to last less than a round and a half. Danny Roberts managed to make it into the third round but fell victim to a Perry knee that ended his night. With Perry being at a -130, I am all for putting your cash on Perry and for the fight.
As for Urijah Faber, he's as high as a -450 against Brad Pickett and I'm not touching that with a 10-foot pole. But I might take a crack at Faber finishing this in under 2 ½ rounds at +120.
There you have it. A tough card but there's a few spots you can make a few bucks.