UFC on FOX: VanZant vs. Waterson Fight Pass prelim card predictions

It’s Fight Night! For the first time ever, the UFC will set stage in the brand new Golden 1 enter in Sacramento,  for the latest FOX card. As a result various members of Team Alpha Male will set foot inside the octagon. The card isn’t stacked in terms of fights with stakes, but the fact that two fierce women will headline the card, a pair of intriguing prospects will co-headline it, and WEC legend Urijah Faber will have his final fight tonight, it’s definitely a meaningful card.

The prelims aren’t huge in terms of names but there are some sure to be fun fights on deck, and that includes the Fight Pass portion of the card. They’ll start early though, so be on the lookout for that! Without further ado, here are my picks for  the three Fight Pass prelim bouts.

Fight Pass prelims (3:30/2:30c, UFC Fight Pass)

Bojan Velickovic (14-3-1) vs. Sultan Aliev (13-2)

Kicking off the card are a pair of Welterweights. Velickovic has never been finished, has eleven wins via finish, including eight via submission. He won five straight prior to entering his last fight, which ended via majority draw, and has gone into the third round in seven of his last nine fights.

Meanwhile, Aliev started his career 13-1, before losing his UFC debut against Kenny Robertson in January of last year. Injuries have kept him out since then, but he’s looking to get his first UFC victory tonight. He’s won ten fights via knockout,  with seven of them coming in the first round.

In the end, both men might be finishers, but their varying styles really make this one interesting. Both also have solid gas tanks, so while a finish should shock no one, I’ll say the fight goes the distance, with Velickovic coming away with a tough nod. Prediction: Velickovic via split decision.

Hector Sandoval (12-3)vs. Fredy Serrano (3-1)

Up next us some Flyweight action. Sandoval has seven wins via decision and due to losing his UFC debut his first round submission at UFC 201, desperately needs a win.

Serrano is 37 years old, but only has four professional bouts to his credit. That’s because he spent a long time being a freestyle wrestler beforehand, and just turned pro in MMA in February 2013. He then sat for two years, before making his UFC debut last March. He’s 2-1 inside the octagon with a knockout win, a decision win, and most recently, a split decision loss in July. I’ll say he gets the win via decision today. Prediction: Serrano via decision. 

(13) Eddie Wineland (22-11-1) vs. (14) Takeya Mizugaki (21-10-2)

In the Fight Pass headliner, a pair of former WEC veterans will take the stage in a city that’s very familiar with the famed promotion.

Wineland fought six times for that promotion, from March 2007 to the final card in December 2010. He lost his first two WEC bouts, but won his final four, earning Knockout of the Night honors for his final two bouts there. In the UFC thoigh, things haven’t gone as well for him. He’s 4-5 with the promotion,  but has constantly fought great competition. Despite his record, he always brings it, winning 18 times via finish including 13 via knockout, and has become a fan favorite as a result.

As for Mizugaki, the Japanese fighter went 2-3 with WEC, but has gone 8-5 inside the octagon. He’d begun his UFC tenure with a 7-2 record, but has lost three or his last four bouts, all via finish. That said, seven of his eight UFC wins, and 15 of his 21 overall wins, have come via decision. Overall, 22 of his 33 career fights have gone the distance. Hell do his best to take it the distance tonight. Sadly for him, I see Wineland connecting before long, and winning in the second as a result. Prediction: Wineland via tko,  round 2.

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