UFC 192 is going to be massive! The first fight is scheduled for around 9am AEST on Sunday, while the big Comier V Gustafsson should take place around 3:00pm. Check out all our UFC 192 betting tips below!
Daniel Cormier (c) (16-1) vs Alexander Gustafsson (#2) (16-3)
Although this fight is technically for the light heavy weight championship, Jon Jones is the real king of this division and was only stripped of his title due to a felony conviction for a hit and run. Never the less, this is a fantastic fight between two of the best competitors MMA has to offer. Daniel Cormier is a former Olympic wrestler who prior to his loss to Jones had compiled a 15-0 record without ever losing a round. Cormier has one of the best wrestling games in the sport; he has a huge variety of takedowns, slams and clinchwork. On the ground he has brilliant control and will often transition to an opponent’s back to force a submission. His striking is also quite evolved; he throws multi punch combinations and has a decent inside leg kicking game. Cormier a very cerebral fighter and he is not afraid to fight boring to get a win. His biggest advantage may be that he is the number one training partner of former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Gustafsson is a giant 6 ft 5 Swede who must surely be a descendent of a Viking warlord. As a former boxer he is exceptional at making the most of his reach advantage and prefers to fight at distance. However he is also a very good striker at close range and has multiple inside knock downs. He throws most techniques well, but his best weapon is a straight right. Gustafsson also has a very underrated wrestling game, he has brilliant takedown defence and is known as the first man to take down Jon Jones. I think his submission defence is strong enough that he won’t tap to Cormier but I don’t expect him to have much luck with submission offence. A massive question mark over Gustafsson is his mental state. In his last fight he was brutally knocked out by Anthony Johnson in front of raucous home crowd, will that have any lasting impact on him?
Prediction: The x-factor in this fight is the height differential, if Gustaffson can keep Cormier at distance I think he will be able to pick him apart and win via TKO. However I think Cormier will be able to close the distance and make this fight ugly winning a back and forth decision. Daniel Cormier by 49-46 decision
Johnny Hendricks (#1) (17-3) vs Tyron Woodley (#3) (15-3)
This fight will determine who is next in line to challenge for the welterweight title. Although these two have never met in the octagon, they have a long history of competition in NCAA division 1 wrestling tournaments which has involved accusations of fish hooking and biting from both sides. Hendricks is the former welterweight champion, having recently lost his title in a razor close decision to Robbie Lawler. He is one of the most highly decorated wrestler’s in the UFC having claimed national titles in 2005 and 2006. As such, he has a deadly double leg takedown and very strong top control on the ground. On the feet he is a southpaw striker, with some of the best KO power in the division and absolute dynamite in his left hand. What he lacks in technical ability, he makes up for with constant pressure and forward movement. He also has fantastic intangibles; things like heart, determination and a rock solid chin. Weight issues and conditioning have been a problem at times, but has recently gone 10 hard rounds against Lawler without slowing down and looks to be in career best physical shape.
Woodley is another fantastic wrestler who lost his opportunity at a national title at the hands of Johnny Hendricks. He is a fantastic athlete and will have a significant speed advantage here. Hendricks has a granite chin, but Woodley is one of the few fighters in the division with a legitimate chance of knocking him out. He is quite a diverse striker, but his main weapon is the overhand right. Like Hendricks, he possesses a fantastic double leg and ground control. Woodley’s main weakness is an unwillingness to engage and he has lost multiple fights in his career to lesser opponents by simply not being active enough and allowing them to steal decisions.
Prediction: These two are such similar fighters, fantastic wrestlers with tremendous knockout power. It’s very rare that Woodley goes into a fight at wrestling disadvantage, but I think that will be the case here. Woodley’s superior striking arsenal should mean he has the advantage at distance, but I think Hendricks will stifle him with a lot of pushing up against the cage and dirty boxing to steal a decision on the judges’ cards. Hendricks 29-28 decision.
TAKE NOTE: The Johnny Hendricks' fight was cancelled on Saturday due to Hendricks being rushed to the emergency room. The fight will no longer be part of UFC 192.
Rashad Evans (#5) (19-3-1) vs Ryan Bader (#4) (19-4)
Similarly to the previous fight, this one involves two former division 1 wrestlers who are looking to earn a title shot with a victory here. If both these guys are in their prime, Evans wins it however he wants. But in the last few years Evans has suffered multiple injuries and has fought only once since June 2013. That combined with his age mean there is no doubt he will come into this bout as a diminished fighter. Evans is a former UFC champion and at his best had a devastating mixture of athleticism, power and speed. He is a former division one wrestler who developed solid combination boxing. He does possess KO power, but uses his striking primarily to set up take downs. On the ground he favours control and strikes over submissions and guard passes.
Bader is in the midst of a career resurgence, he is riding a four-fight win streak and was unlucky not to be given a shot at Cormier’s title. Bader is a prototypical wrestler boxer who relies heavily on a smothering wrestling game to win fights. His striking is relatively rudimentary, using a jab to set up his go to left hook. He has also developed decent striking defence ultizing a lot of head movement. On the mat he is more about control than submissions, but does have some damaging ground and pound.
Prediction: When two high level wrestlers face up, their skills tend to negate each other and it turns into a stand up fight. In this scenario I think there skills match up pretty well with Evans having a technique advantage and Bader a power advantage. However there are too many question marks over Evan’s condition and I think the value in this fight is on the surging underdog to eek out a close decision. Ryan Bader by split decision.
Ruslan Magomedov (13-1) vs Shawn Jordan (18-6)
This fight pits former college football standout, Shawn Jordan against Russian army hand-to-hand combat champion, Magomedov. Jordan is what you expect from an elite athlete who transitioned to MMA, he is fast, explosive and has big power in both his hands. He is not a technical striker and relies on power rather than volume of accuracy. Because of his weak chin, horrible defence and aggressive style, the majority of Jordan’s fights end in either a KO win or a KO loss. He is a solid wrestler with decent top control, but prefers to keep the fight standing and throw leather.
Magomedov is a high level kickboxer and does his best work at distance with a variety of strikes. He will enjoy a significant height and reach advantage which will aid in keeping the fight on the outside. Surprisingly for a heavyweight, he has won his last 5 fights by decision which demonstrates a lack of fight ending power. Like Jordan, he tends to use his wrestling only defensively so I think this fight will play out mostly on the feet and in the clinch.
Prediction: Magomedov has a big skill and technique advantage in this fight and should be able to outpoint his way to a decision. Jordan does have the physical tools to close the distance and end the fight with one punch, but I think Magomedov will play it smart and continue his rise up the heavyweight rankings. Magomedov by decision.
Julianna Pena (#12) (6-2) vs Jessica Eye (#6) (11-3)
If Pena can get an impressive victory here she will likely skip to the front of the line for the next shot at Ronda Rousey’s belt. However that will not be easy as she comes up against Eye, one of the best strikers in the bantamweight division. Pena is a finisher. Her 6 career wins are split with 3 submissions and 3 knockouts. She lacks technique on the feet but throws hard punches and often charges straight forward to initiate clinches. Once the fight hits the ground her are opponents are in a lot of trouble, she has fantastic submission skills and devastating elbows from top position. She doesn’t have strong takedowns and relies on trips and pure strength to get fights to the ground.
Jessica Eye is coming off a very deflating loss to perennial top contender Miesha Tate. A win in that fight probably would have meant that it was Eye fighting Rousey in front of seventy thousand people in Melbourne next month. Eye is a long time veteran of the sport and holds wins over many of the division’s elite. She will be far and away the best striker Pena has faced in her short career. Eye is not really a power puncher and tends to win via accumulation rather than the one big fight altering strike. She uses crisp jabs, counters and angles to outwork her opponents. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a very strong grappling or wrestling game. So if the fight hits the mat, it’s probably on the back of a Pena takedown and I expect her to dominate there.
Prediction: While this fight stays on the feet it should be a pretty close fight with Eye just edging it. However I think Pena has a massive advantage on the ground and has shouldn’t have to much trouble getting it there. Once on the ground I expect her to sink in a submission or clearly win the rounds. Pena by Submission in Round 2
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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