UFC 192 Predictions

Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson:

Mike Drahota:

UFC Promo

I certainly hope that this fight turns out to be more like ‘The Mauler’s’ riveting UFC 165 classic versus Jon Jones rather than his vicious knockout loss to Anthony Johnson earlier this year. I also hope the next opponent for Jones emerges here now that ‘Bones’ has avoided jail time from his hit-and-run in Albuquerque earlier this year. To me it seems the only way Gustafsson can be that man is if he uses his reach advantage to the fullest, picking apart the much shorter Cormier from the outside to tire him out in the later rounds. Cormier can potentially win a dirty boxing match if he can close the distance, and he can obviously use his Olympic-level wrestling to ground Gustafsson and wear him down for a potential choke. Cormier just has more ways to win here, and Gustafsson seems to be reeling from his devastating loss to ‘Rumble,’ whom Cormier destroyed. I have to go with ‘DC’ by unanimous decision.

Rory Kernaghan:

Daniel Cormier has always been the shorter man in both his light heavyweight and heavyweight stints, but only once has he ever lost. I feel Gustafsson’s reach will certainly play a big role in him landing more strikes at range, but we all know that ‘DC’ won’t be staying on the end of Gus’ reach. Grinding against the cage and looking for the takedown is where Cormier will want to be, and I feel his Olympic pedigree wrestling is a perfect weapon against the lankier ‘Mauler’. I don’t feel Gustafsson has grind to match Cormier’s relentless work ethic, and I see ‘DC’ retaining his belt with a decision win after five rounds.

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Mike Henken:

I picked against Cormier when he fought Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 187 last May and he proved me wrong. He’ll have to do that again this weekend, as I just have a gut feeling that Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson will pull off the upset. Gustafsson will have a huge reach advantage over Cormier, similar to the advantage Jon Jones did. Of course “The Mauler” is no Jones, but I believe if he uses his reach and distance to keep the former Olympic wrestler in Cormier on the outside, he has a solid shot. Gustafsson is also a very smooth and crisp boxer with solid footwork, which he will need to implement to its fullest potential. Gustafsson’s record as of late may not make him deserving of a title shot, but if he can avoid the clinch and avoid being taken down, I see him taking this one. Gustafsson via unanimous decision.

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Rashad Evans vs. Ryan Bader:

Mike Drahota:

This new co-main event is an intriguing one after Johny Hendricks vs. Tyron Woodley was scrapped due to some weight cutting issues for “Bigg Rigg.” In reality, however, I thin this could be a bit of a snoozer, as Evans has had an extremely long layoff and I’m not exactly sure where he’s at right now. Bader, on the other hand, has compiled a nice win streak recently but hasn’t exactly looked all that impressive doing so, making this a tough match to pick in my opinion. With major questions surrounding both fighters, I expect Evans to use his superior hand speed to out-strike Bader on the feet after both of their wrestling bases are neutralized to some degree. This one might not be pretty, but I’m picking ‘Suga’ to take home a unanimous decision victory.

Rory Kernaghan:

Rashad Evans returns from his 50-year layoff to face Ryan Bader, and it’s yet another fight pitting two wrestlers against each other. If he’d been active the past few years I would have definitely picked Evans without a second thought, but cage rust could well be a factor here. We don’t know how smoothly ‘Suga’s’ camp has gone for his big comeback fight, and ‘Darth’ could well run through him on Saturday. I don’t see Bader getting the finish, but I also can’t imagine Evans getting wrestle humped either. In fact, I’m gonna do a 180 here, I think a huge power shot from Evans will rock Bader’s questionable chin. Cardio won’t be a factor for this one, Evans by knockout in round one.

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Mike Henken:

If this fight happened a few years back, It would have been a no brainer for me, I would’ve went with Rashad Evans winning rather easily. However, Evans has now been out of competition for nearly two years nursing multiple knee injuries, and it’s hard to tell what the former champion will look like in his return. That being said, Ryan Bader has put together four straight wins recently and looks to be a much improved fighter all around. Both men are decorated wrestlers, but despite Bader’s improvements, I feel as if Evans is the better wrestler. I also believe that “Suga” is faster, more powerful, and just overall a better fighter. This all depends on if he’s healthy, but I’m going with Evans by unanimous decision.