Pinche’s Picks: UFC 192

The UFC has made its way back to the great city of Houston, for UFC 192 Saturday night. Light-Heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier, will put his title on the line against Alexander Gustafsson in the night’s main event. While the co-main event will be a welterweight bout between Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley, the winner could be next in line for a shot at the welterweight belt. Also on the card, a strawweight fight between “Thug” Rose Namajunas (3-2) and Angela Hill (2-1), Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez also makes his return Saturday night, and Houston’s own Derrick Lewis (12-4) and Sage Northcutt (5-0), will be starting the night off for their hometown fans. Lewis will be going up against Viktor Pesta (10-1), and Sage will battle Frank Trevino (12-1) in his much hyped and anticipated UFC debut.

This is the first I’ve ever heard of a fighter from the UFC Fight Pass Prelims being featured in the open workouts, Sage seems to have 100% support from his new employer. I too will be in attendance Saturday night. Nowhere near the cage because the UFC knows better, I will instead be in the cheap seats yelling out things like, “Hit em in the face!” and “Get up and do something!” In between rounds I will tell everyone around me what I would have done if I was in there, and remind them numerous times throughout the night that I have one amateur MMA fight under my belt. As usual, I had a lot of free time on my hands this week and was able to take a very close look at the card. I came up with my educated guesses on who I think will come out victorious in Screwston, TX. Here’s my picks for the main card at UFC 192.

#6 Jessica “Evil” Eye (11-3) +170 vs Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena (7-2) -230:
Jessica Eye is coming off of a decision loss to Miesha Tate back in July, and Pena is coming off of a first round TKO win over Milana Dudieva in April. It was Pena’s first fight in the octagon after more than a year layoff due to a devastating knee injury suffered in 2013. She seemed to jump right back into the swing of things with ease in her last fight, and I think she will be right back in her groove on Saturday. Eye has good boxing and likes to throw power punches, but Pena will take the fight to the ground when she needs to and control the fight there. Pena has more than just her stand up to rely on, and will outscore Eye every round whether on her feet or on the ground. Pena wins this one by decision.

Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (18-6) +100 vs Ruslan “Leopard” Magomedov (13-1) -140:
Although Russian fighter, Ruslan Magomedov, is currently on an 8 fight win streak, you can’t say he has faced the same talent as Shawn Jordan. Jordan himself is on a 3 fight win streak, finishing all three of his last opponents via TKO/KO. Magomedov hasn’t knocked anyone out since 2011, but he did submit a guy in 2012, which was the last time he was able to finish a fight. That right there will be the difference in this fight. Magomedov will be looking to cruise for three rounds against a guy that’s trying to finish it with every punch. Magomedov’s streak will come to an end Saturday, Jordan wins this fight by TKO.

#4 Ryan “Darth” Bader (20-4) +140 vs #5 “Suga” Rashad Evans (24-3) -160:
Up until news broke that former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones would receive “up to” 18 months probation for a felony hit and run, this fight seemed like it would actually mean something to the division. The #4 guy in the division on a 4 fight win streak, versus the #5 guy in the division, the winner could maybe get a title shot next. Not anymore, you can pretty much guarantee no matter what happens Saturday night Jon Jones will get the next crack at the title he was stripped of. This fight still has a chance to be an exciting fight, maybe a very small chance, but there’s still hope. I just don’t see Evans coming back after a year off with a “go all out” attitude, and he’s going up against someone more than willing to wrestle his way to a decision victory. Evans won’t be easy to take down, he will stuff enough shots to win a couple rounds with his stand up. Evans gets the decision win in this one.

#1 Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (17-3) -270 vs #3 Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (15-3) +230:
Well, if it wasn’t for the “big wigs” in the UFC and us MMA fans, Johny Hendricks would be training for a title shot right now, and not going up against the #3 guy in the division, Tyron Woodley. The two fighters have faced each other on the wrestling mat in college. Woodley says Hendricks was “fish hooking” during their match, Hendricks claims Woodley bit his finger. Hendricks ended up winning and taking the Big 12 Championship home with him, and the two haven’t been on the best terms since.

Woodley has won his last two fights, beating Dong Hyun Kim by TKO and Kevin Gastelum by decision. He also had a small role in Straight Outta Compton, which in my opinion, was the best movie any MMA fighter has starred in; Rich Franklin is a close second with Cyborg Soldier. Hendricks is coming off of a dominating win over Matt Brown in March, after losing his belt to Robbie Lawler in their rematch. After being passed up for a title shot, Hendricks knows he has to win this fight if he wants his shot at the welterweight belt again. He isn’t going to take his chances with letting Woodley land a big punch, expect most of this fight to take place on the ground. Hendricks knows he has his best shot there and I don’t think he cares too much about who is booing him in the end. Hendricks grinds out a decision victory here.

Daniel Cormier (15-1) -360 vs #2 Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (16-3) +300:
Daniel Cormier won the vacant Light-Heavyweight Championship by defeating Anthony Johnson via Rear Naked Choke back in May, after Jon Jones was stripped of his title by the UFC. Now, he faces Alexander Gustafsson, who is coming off of a TKO loss to Anthony Johnson, but somehow earned a title shot. Although there is a huge difference in size between the two, it won’t matter; DC is always the smaller guy, this is nothing new to him. Gustafsson has lost 2 of his last 3, but he did come close to beating Jon Jones, which seems to be the reason why some think he will win. There’s a reason why they have Gustafsson at +300 for this fight, DC will maul the mauler with his wrestling. Gus will be able to show off some of his striking but DC is going to close the distance and take the fight to where he is the most comfortable. Cormier finishes Gus in the championship rounds.

Who are your picks for the fights?

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