Everyone knows how great the UFC Fight Night in Sacramento main event is between Michelle Waterson and Paige VanZant. And don’t forget welterweight studs Sage Northcutt and Mickey Gall in the co-main event. But let’s take a closer look at the fight card and five other bouts that could end up stealing the show.
Alan Jouban vs Mike Perry
In what should be an absolute banger and my pick for Fight of the Night, Alan Jouban faces Mike Perry in a welterweight bout to kick off the UFC Fight Night from Sacramento main card.
Jouban and Perry are both relentless strikers who fight at a frenetic pace from bell to bell. Perry has KO’d both of his UFC opponents thanks to his heavy hands and lands an absurd 6.61 strikes per minute. Jouban, who lands 5.31 strikes per minute himself, is 5-2 in the UFC and has three Fight of the Night bonuses under his belt.
This fight should be extremely entertaining, however long it lasts.
Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesJeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Bryan Barberena vs. Colby Covington
Bryan Barberena shocked a lot of people when he beat Sage Northcutt in January and carried that momentum into his bout against highly touted Brazilian Warlley Alves and proceeded to put on a striking clinic. It’s time fans stop sleeping on Barberena.
This time around, he’ll face grappling ace Colby Covington. Covington has completed 11 takedowns in his last two fights and will surely look to planet Barberena on his butt and keep him there. He likes to finish with heavy ground-and-pound and like Barberena, can pull off some pretty slick submissions too.
Another great matchup between equally talented prospects.
Leslie Smith vs Irene Aldana
Leslie Smith and Irene Aldana are both featured on our list of top prospects for the new women’s featherweight division but they’ll face off in a bantamweight bout on Saturday in the first fight on the FS1 prelims.
Smith is a hard-nosed grinder, and currently the only bantamweight on the roster with the confidence to step up and fight all-time great Cris Cyborg. Aldana will be a new face to many UFC fans, but she’s been fighting under the Invicta FC banner for the last few years and absolutely killing it.
Smith vs. Aldana should remind fans just how entertaining Smith is, while introducing fans to an exciting new prospect.
Eddie Wineland vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Top 15 bantamweights square off in a bout that will likely see the loser fall out of the rankings all together.
Wineland is a brawler in every sense of the word and is fresh off a third-round TKO win against Frankie Saenz in a bonus-winning performance. He’s aged and slowed down a bit but still has that KO power that helped him win the WEC title back in 2006.
Mizugaki has won six of his last nine, with his only losses coming against top bantamweights Cody Garbrandt, Aljamain Sterling and Dominick Cruz. He’s a crafty fighter with a ton of experience that could give Wineland problems with his counterstriking. This fight headlines the UFC Fight Pass prelims, and rightfully so.
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Josh Emmett vs Scott Holtzman
In just first bout in the UFC, Team Alpha Male’s Josh Emmett burst on the scene with a hard-fought split decision win over veteran Jon Tuck. Before that fight, Emmett had never lost a round in a professional fight en route to a perfect 9-0 record.
His opponent, Holtzman, will be looking for his third UFC win on Saturday night. As a former professional hockey player, Holtzman has above average athleticism and fights with scary aggression. Catch them duke it out on the FS1 prelims.