It was an action packed night of fights in Sacramento, capped off by "The Karate Hottie," Michelle Waterson, returning from a 17-month layoff to submit Paige VanZant in the first round of their strawweight main event matchup.
Waterson debuted in the UFC last July and dispatched former Ultimate Fighter competitor Angela Magana in similar fashion, but following an absence that kept her sidelines for over a year, it was tough to tell just how fast she would come charging out of the gate in this fight.
More from Fight Night Sacramento: Full results | Postfight bonus recap | Waterson gets big win over PVZ | Faber caps career with hometown win | Craig, Hirota, Covington among Sacramento winners | Wineland blasts way to win; Sandoval, Aliev claim decision victories
Backstage interviews: Postfight press conference highlights | Michelle Waterson | Mickey Gall | Urijah Faber | Alan Jouban
Octagon interviews: Michelle Waterson | Mickey Gall | Urijah Faber | Eddie Wineland
UFC FIGHT PASS members: Replay the first three fights on demand now
All questions were answered as Waterson quickly tossed VanZant to the ground early in the opening round before latching on to the rear naked choke. Rather than tap out, VanZant ultimately went to sleep, which forced the referee to break the hold before the 22-year-old former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant woke up and realized what had happened.
Heading into the night, Waterson was an underdog according to the betting odds and according to fantasy players, with just 33 percent picking her to get the win over VanZant. None of that mattered to Waterson, who came through with an outstanding victory as she moves to 2-0 in the UFC while assuredly entering the top 10 rankings next week.
Another upset occurred in the co-main event as Mickey Gall submitted highly touted prospect Sage Northcutt with a second round rear naked choke after just 45 percent of players selected him going into the night. While he was the underdog according to fantasy players, 70 percent of those who picked Gall did say he would get the job done by submission, which is exactly what he did.
Gall is now 3-0 in the UFC, with all of his victories coming by way of rear naked choke submission.
The biggest favorite on the card did manage to get a victory, as Urijah Faber fought inside the Octagon for the final time in his career after announcing his retirement ahead of Saturday's card. Faber was picked by a whopping 91 percent of players, with another 60 percent saying he would win by decision. Ultimately, that's exactly what Faber did as he earned the nod over Brad Pickett in a lopsided win.
As it turns out, Faber was actually the only favorite to win on the main card as Alan Jouban also pulled off an upset with a decision victory over power punching specialist Mike Perry. Jouban was picked by just 46 percent of players, but he got the victory after three hard fought rounds.
The upsets continued on the preliminary card with Scottish submission specialist Paul Craig handing Henrique da Silva the first loss of his career with an impressive armbar finish in the second round. Paul was picked to win by just 19 percent of players going into the card, but there's little doubt more people will be keeping an eye on him after what he did in his debut.
Mizuto Hirota kept the string of upsets going when he defeated Cole Miller by decision with just 26 percent of players picking him going into the night. The same could be said for welterweight prospect Colby Covington, who earned a dominant decision over Bryan Barberena despite just 39 percent of players picking him on Saturday night.
Alex Morono added on to the underdog victories after he defeated James Moontasri with just 33 percent of players picking him. Morono's win also came with an additional 120 bonus points for the tight matchup with Moontasri.
The favorites didn't get shut out despite a big run by the underdogs on the card.
Josh Emmett pulled off a unanimous decision victory over Scott Holtzman with 62 percent of players picking him to win in front of his hometown crowd. The same could be said for Leslie Smith, who had 57 percent of players picking her against debuting bantamweight fighter Irene Aldana. Smith got the win and also went home with Fight of the Night honors as well.
Eddie Wineland also proved to be one of the biggest favorites to win on the card with 79 percent of players picking him and another 53 percent saying he would defeat Takeya Mizugaki by knockout. Wineland finished the fight with strikes in a very impressive showing for the UFC and WEC veteran.
Altogether, FOX UFC Fight Night: VanZant vs. Waterson ended with an overwhelming nine underdogs getting wins according to the picks made by fantasy players, while just four favorites walked away victorious when the show was over.