UFC 192 Picks: Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson – Johny Hendricks vs. Tyron Woodley Predictions to Win

UFC 192 Picks to Win
When: Saturday, October 3, 2015
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
by Scott of Predictem.com

Fight Analysis:

UFC 192 figures to be a scintillating card of action. The event, scheduled for October 3 at the Toyota Center in Houston features the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, with titleholder Daniel Cormier defending against challenger Alexander Gustafsson in what should be an exciting mix of styles. Also on the card is what may be a de-facto title elimination bout, between high-ranking welterweights Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley.

Daniel Cormier, 16-1 (6 KOs, 5 Submissions), (-325 odds) vs. Alexander Gustafsson, 16-3 (10 KOs, 3 Submissions), (+250 odds)
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier defends his belt against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 192 on October 3. It is a 205-pound battle that features two of the best in the business, even though the clear number-one is on the sidelines facing legal difficulty. And even if Jon Jones were still champion, this bout would still stand as a meaningful and potentially-explosive light heavyweight battle.

Both Cormier and Gustafssons last bout was with Anthony Johnson, each achieving very different results. In January, Gustafsson suffered his first loss via strikes, as he was stopped in just over two minutes by Johnson. On the strength of that performance, Johnson earned a shot at the title. Jones got suspended, with Cormier filling in to take the spot for the vacant title. And he made the most of it, submitting Johnson in the third round in the biggest win of his career.

In MMA, weve seen fighters pick up the pieces and continue to thrive after a series of brutal defeats. At 28, Gustafsson is in a position to do just that, but you have to wonder. He really got mashed up in the Johnson fight and to come right back into a fight like this without taking another fight in the interim would seem like a less-than-ideal approach. Weve seen his come back from a submission and decision loss before, but now well see how primed he is on the heels of getting brutally TKOd.

At the same time, it may not mean as much as one would think that Cormier beat the man who smashed Gustafsson, as the common-opponent quotient in handicapping fights often holds little water. Its all about styles and how the fighters mesh with each other. In that sense, this doesnt seem like all that bad of a spot for Gustafsson. At 65, he has abundant length on Cormier. Combined with his stellar footwork, its not hard to picture him picking and pecking away at Cormier, while controlling long stretches of the fight. And Cormiers wrestling also figures to be at least partially-muted with Gustafsson boasting of excellent takedown defense. Gustafsson is younger, quicker, taller, has a longer reach, and his stamina in a 5-round fight may be a bit more reliable.

Cormier looked good against Johnson in May in winning the vacant title. At first glance, Cormier looks ordinary–a somewhat pudgy man nearing 40. But dont be fooled. The man is a handful and until shown otherwise, the best 205-pounder in the world not named Jon Jones. He has beaten a handful of ranking heavyweights, beaten top 205-pounders, and forced Jones to unveil the full-scope of his skills to repel his challenge.

Cormiers wrestling is above reproach. He can close the gap quickly and land thunderous punches with his legitimately-heavy hands. He is smart in the octagon, able to think on his toes. What may set him apart from Gustafsson in this fight is his durability. And in what figures to be a good two-way fight, that asset may stand above others in terms of importance. Cormier has absorbed the shots of heavyweight contenders and lethal light heavyweights like Johnson and Jones. Gustafsson is a dangerous striker, but is not likely to hit Cormier with any more velocity than Cormier has already experienced.

Again, fights boil down to styles. And with Gustafsson, you have an underdog who actually matches up well with the favorite stylistically. This is a matchup where one would better fancy his chances over the 3-round distance. But 25 minutes is a long time for him to withstand the sheer force and willpower of the champion. I see Cormier grinding down Gustafsson en route to a competitive decision win.

My Pick to Win: Im betting on Daniel Cormier to win at -325. Gustafsson has some potential style advantages, but the harder-hitting and more-proven durability of Cormier will allow him to prevail in this championship encounter. Bet the Cormier/Gustafsson fight for FREE by taking advantage of a HUGE 100% sign-up bonus (extra cash added to your account) at 1Vice Sportsbook.

Johny Hendricks, 17-3 (8 KOs, 1 Submission), (-270) vs. Tyron Woodley, 15-3 (5 KOs, 5 Submissions), (+210)
The co-main event features an excellent 170-pound bout between ex-champion Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley. Hendricks is pining for another title shot, while Woodley is looking to reach that pedestal. Hendricks has been given a tough shake, forced to beat two tough contenders like Matt Brown and now Woodley before earning a rematch at the man who took his belt by split decision. But to get the third fight with Robbie Lawler, he must defeat the dangerous and peaking Woodley.

Hendricks got back in the win column with a decision over Matt Brown in March. He looked pretty good, with his punching looking fluid, as he withstood the very-dangerous Browns attacks. He is a hungry fighter, who may have a little extra fire in his belly after being snubbed for a title shot, as Carlos Condit got the nod to fight Lawler instead.

Woodley is not always an exciting fighter. He looked dominant in a recent knockout of Dong-Hyun Kim. But at this level, hes a fighter who will take his opportunities to land crippling shots, but one who will also practice a bit of self-preservation. Woodley is also a tough guy to get a read on as to where he truly stands among the welterweight elite. Maybe his results on paper paint him in a better light than what is actually the case. His two biggest wins came against Carlos Condit and Kelvin Gastellum, and those results have gotten him to this point, where he now sits on the precipice. And those wins are a bit tainted, with Condit suffering a knee injury that forced him to quit and Gastellum overweight and perhaps ill-prepared. And in the Gastellum fight, it was such a cumbersome fight to watch that there were really no winners in a way.

Woodley could certainly catch Hendricks, but lets not underestimate the ex-champions durability. Hes taken punishment for 25 minutes from Georges St. Pierre, survived 50 minutes with the brutal-hitting Robbie Lawler, and braved through the shots of other powerful welterweights without ill affect. In this fight, he just seems to be at a slightly-higher level than Woodley. I see Hendricks winning a decision.

My Prediction to Win: Im betting on Johny Hendricks to win at -270.
His durability and heavier hands will force Woodley into more of a negative
posture as the fight progresses. Woodley will be dangerous, but Hendricks
will pull away late for the win. Find prop bets for MMA/UFC fights and get
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