Waterson Wins, Faber Goes Out On Top
Michelle Waterson had not stepped foot inside an MMA cage since July 2015 before she faced Paige VanZant tonight at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. Despite facing an up-and-coming star in the UFC, Waterson needed just under three-and-a-half minutes to choke out VanZant, earning a technical submission win in the main event of a UFC on FOX broadcast.
The bout started off slow, with not a single significant strike landed in the opening minute. The two clinch before Waterson gets a throw and wraps her legs around VanZant’s body in a body triangle. Waterson spent some time attempting a rear-naked choke, but VanZant was able to defend the choke well. Unfortunately for VanZant, Waterson still ended up locking it in, and VanZant passed out in the hold, giving Waterson a technical submission win.
The co-main event of the evening saw Mickey Gall face Sage Northcutt. Early in the first, Gall attempted a takedown, but Northcutt landed a knee. Gall did get Northcutt down and threatened to lock in a guillotine. Northcutt eventually got to his feet, but Gall stayed on the ground, the two talking trash until referee Herb Dean stood Gall up. The two battled some more on the ground for the final minute of the first.
Gall landed an overhead right punch, and Northcutt went down to the canvas. Rather than go for a ground-and-pound, however, Gall choose to lock Northcutt’s body with his legs and go for the choke. Eventually, he got Northcutt to tap at the 1:40 mark of the second round, improving to 4-0.
The two shared some respect after the bout, and Gall announced he was considering dropping to 155 and called out Dan Hardy.
The event also saw the final fight in the career of Urijah Faber, as he took on Brad Pickett. Faber tied up Pickett early on and landed several shots, including a hard right that could have ended the fight in the first. Faber had Pickett’s back, but he was unable to get in a submission before the bell. The two had their own fair share of shots early in the second, but once again, Faber was able to trip up Pickett and attempted to get in a choke or guillotine. Pickett threw a right that knocked down the former WEC champion, but Faber got up quickly. Faber brought Pickett down to the ground again, and utilized several elbow strikes and attempted multiple submissions as the round, and Faber’s career, ended. Faber ends his MMA career on top.
Main card (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Michelle Waterson def. Paige VanZant via technical submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 3:21)
Mickey Gall def. Sage Northcutt via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 2, 1:40)
Urijah Faber def. Brad Pickett via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Alan Jouban def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Prelims (Fox Sports 1, 5 p.m. ET)
Paul Craig def. Henrique da Silva via submission (armbar) (Rd. 2, 1:59)
Mizuto Hirota def. Cole Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Colby Covington def. Bryan Barberena via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alex Morono def. James Moontasri via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Josh Emmett def. Scott Holtzman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Leslie Smith def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Early prelims (UFC Fight Pass, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Eddie Wineland def. Takeya Mizugaki via TKO (Rd. 1, 3:04)
Hector Sandoval def. Fredy Serrano via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Sultan Aliev def. Bojan Velickovic via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)