UFC Fight Night: Michelle Waterson Upsets Paige VanZant

Photo courtesy of USA Today
UFC Fight Night: Michelle Waterson Upsets Paige VanZant

The main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night was full of upcoming superstars and established veterans, but the fights themselves were a mixed bag.

The strawweight main event between Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson and “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant ended in an upset, as Michelle Waterson overcame her shorter height, a 3-inch reach disadvantage, and a near 10 year age gap that had caused everyone to assume she had little hope of winning to win via first round submission. Waterson, much more know for her stand up (as her nickname would imply), caught VanZant in a Rear Naked Choke, and VanZant passed out while attempting to gain control of Waterson’s hands, resulting in a technical submission.

The co-main event saw two of MMA’s brightest young prospects face off as 24 year old Mickey Gall went up against 20 year old phenom Sage Northcutt. Gall requested the fight after his dominating performance over CM Punk at UFC 203, as Northcutt was coming off a somewhat shaky performance at UFC 200. Gall dominated the first round by keeping the Karate champ Northcutt pinned to the ground. The second round saw Northcutt drop Gall with a hook that left a nasty cut on his head, though Gall would return in kind and capitalize on the knockdown to submit Northvutt via Rear Naked Choke. Gall made another newsworthy call out of former Welterweight contender and current UFC commentator Dan Hardy.

The show also saw the retirement fight of hometown hero and legendary Bantamweight/Featherweight Urijah Faber. Faber consistently knocked opponent Brad Pickett down, and kept dominant position on the ground barring a few isolated incidents. Faber won his final fight in a dominating 30-26 unanimous decision.

The preliminary card saw only 2 finishes out of 9 fights, with Eddie Wineland defeating Takeya Mizugaki via punches, and undefeated Scottish submission phenom Paul “Bearjew” Craig submit the 12-0 Henrique Da Silva via Armbar in the second round. Craig made a splash after the fight by saying he wants to fight either Shogun Rua or Minotouro Nogueira next; a daring move by the UFC newcomer.

A very star packed show with a lot of star power but a mixed bag of excitement.

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