The UFC closed out their final UFC on Fox event of 2016 with a fun set of main card fights. The show was mostly centered around promoting next year's crop of fighters looking for the next big push in the sport plus a retirement fight from one of the greats. Here's our look at some of the best and worst moments from UFC Sacramento.
Hit: Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry
Welterweight prospects Alan Jouban and Mike Perry opened the main card with an entertaining scrap that ended with Jouban getting the nod. Jouban's strategy was simple yet nearly perfect against Perry. He utilized better footwork and movement to to strike from the outside through much of the bout. A frustrated, plodding Mike Perry stalked his prey for much of the fight but only had fleeting moments in which he was able to capitalize. Most of his best work came in the second round.
Both fighters will likely continue to enjoy success in 2017, but both also showed glaring problems that need to be fixed. Jouban spent much of the fight dangerously circling towards Perry's power hand and a more experience technical striker could have exposed this. Perry seemed to become frustrated and was motly throwing power shots in 1's and 2's. Both men were fatigued going into the third, and this is probably the only negative mark against an otherwise solid main card opener.
Hit: Urijah Faber Retires Big
All of the great ones retire in their prime: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, the Shamwow guy. Okay, terrible examples, but the point is that people will remember you for the last thing you did. Walking away with one last big win is a dream for many. We saw what happened to Bernard Hopkins last night too. Walking away while still one of the best in your class is exceptionally rare. Though Faber never held UFC gold, he still beat some of the best in the world in the WEC and cleared out all of the other top bantamweight contenders, sometimes multiple times.
He absolutely demolished Brad "One Punch" Pickett in what can only be described as an MMA squash match. All three judges gave Faber a 30-26 decision win for a battle in which Pickett's nickname found new meaning. One Punch barely landed one punch the entire fight, and it was a stiff shot that rolled Faber backwards, but the California Kid pounced right back to his feet with a smile.
The Sacramento crowd was fully behind the hometown hero and the noise really made the win feel like a much bigger thing. Realistically, Faber is a legend and Pickett is now 5-8 in the UFC and has only won one of his last six. Faber finished with a humble retirement speech. Whether is stays retired is up in the air, but there's no doubt that the 37 year old still has what it takes to compete at the top ten level.
Miss: Garbrandt and Cruz Trade Insults
Why do people continue to give Team Alpha Male members microphones? Dominic Cruz and Cody Garbrandt engaged in some verbal sparring and there hasn't been a more childish train wreck since that tragic routing accident at Shining Time Station. Cruz and Garbrandt hurled insults and nonsense back and forth in dramatic fashion, but we're talking more middle school lunch table than Shakespearean theater.
It started when Cruz asked Garbrandt how many concussions he's had. Garbrandt then provided an itemized list of Cruz's weaknesses that included a big weak chin, pillow fists, and legs with no wheels.
Two scraggly-chinned men then debated beards while exchanging barbs over various degrees of brain damage for several minutes, but the highlight of this whole mess was a back and forth over destiny.
Cody: Can't fight fate, bro, the dream is in my heart to be champion
Cruz: You have nothing that can hit me.
Cody: You live in a fairytale.
Cruz: Says the guy talking about fate. Beating your teammates bought me a house.
Cruz is a great trash talker and cuts good promos because he not only says that he will beat people but he's so analytical on hos he'll do it. He's a smart guy and Garbrandt seemed like a stones sloth by comparison. Maybe CM Punk can drop by Team Alpha Male and give a seminar on microphone control.
Miss: Gall vs. Northcutt as Co-Main
Bad booking decision. Faber vs. Pickett should have been the co-main. The UFC wants to promote and push their younger, up and coming talent, but it made little sense and seems a little disrespectful to have Faber's retirement fight as an opener for two guys with with only six UFC wins between them. The fight itself was good, but it felt like it belonged as a main event of a future Legacy Fighting Alliance event than in such a high position on a Fox card.
Hit: Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt the Fight
Mickey Gall finished his fourth professional fight with his fourth consecutive rear naked choke and may have put an indefinite hold on Sage Northcutt's 2017 plans. He controlled most of the round and a half or so of action required to submit Northcutt and walked away with the big win. Gall has strategically tapped two of the UFC's biggest hype machines and made a name for himself in the process. He probably won't be getting Dan Hardy like he requested, but he definitely needs some more lower tier competition until he can develop a more competent striking system. He was clipped by a few shots and doesn't look like he will survive on the feet against someone at this point in his career if he can't get the fight to the ground.
Miss: Skip Bayless Discussing Ronda Rousey
The UFC and Fox decided to waste some of their programming time give the opinion of full-time skinwalker and part-time sports analyst Skip Bayless unnecessary validation. He briefly spoke on why Ronda Rousey's return is a massive mistake on her part to promote his new show Undisputed.
Skip opened his brief rant by claiming that it took 14 months for Ronda to put herself back together physically and mentally, which is roughly the same amount of time he spends every morning shifting his bones into the proper humanoid configuration.
Unfortunately, Skip is also the only person on the broadcast that seemed to recognize that Amanda Nunes actually beat a ton of ass to get to the top spot. It's a big problem when a man who dresses like an alcholic roullette junkie and made a career of outrageous sports commentary is one of the most objective people in the conversation. Most of the UFC 207 promos glossed over her role as a champion, something Joe Rogan also noted on Twitter.
Hit: Michelle Waterson Subs VanZant
Michelle Waterson referred to Paige VanZant as green and went out and proved it in their one round main event battle. Waterson kept VanZant at range with side kicks and executed a beautiful throw off of the cage to send VanZant to the canvas. From there Waterson worked for a RNC that eventually found its home. VanZant eventually slept to the move.
It was a quick fight, and I felt like the right person won. Waterson is ready to face some higher competition and VanZant needs more time to develop before she's ready to be pushed towards a belt. Waterson was gracious in victory and is always fun to watch. The match gets a big hit from me.
What were some of your favorite UFC Sacramento moments? Leave us your thoughts in the comments and drop by our events page to leave your scores and reviews of last night's event.