Can UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier hear it? It is unthinkable, but he must be able to hear it.
That would be the growing chorus of fans wanting former champion Jon Jones to return and take him out. It would been have unthinkable a year ago. But then again, this unthinkable reality was born out of the unthinkable: Jones losing his belt not in the octagon, but because of personal problems.
And while none of this is Cormier’s fault, he has the task of carrying around Jon Jones while focusing on the man who gave Jones his toughest fight in Swedish challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman shares her thoughts on the card:
You can join the MMA Crossfire UFC 192 live blog, by clicking right here on mmacrossfire.com. Kenai Andrews and Cassie Wiseman cover the fights live starting Saturday at 7PM ET/4PM PT!
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (7PM ET/4 PM PT)
DERRICK “THE BLACK BEAST” LEWIS (12-4-0, 1NC) VS VIKTOR PESTA (10-1-0)
Wiseman: While this may be an easy fight for some to call, I’m going to sound crazy and go with Pesta. Yes, Lewis has ground-and-pound, but I’m just thinking about Pesta and his match against Erokhin. He hits so hard that even Big Country’s belly would be tested. However, Pesta walked through them like they were nothing. Pesta also has a grappling game that will test Lewis’s cardio. Lewis swings wild and tends to be two-dimensional with his striking. What happens when your strikes don’t give you the outcome you expect? You get frustrated. I see that for him against Pesta.
Wiseman Prediction: Viktor Pesta via unanimous decision.
#10 CHRIS “KAMIKAZE” CARIASO (17-7-0) VS SERGIO PETTIS (12-2-0)
Wiseman: While Pettis is talented, his chin is the problem. For someone so young, he really doesn’t have the chin to be able to get into the top of the division. The only lucky break for him is that Cariaso has zero drive for a finish. Pettis can keep things standing, use his movement, and ground knowledge to keep things going. However, that’s really his only hope and advantage.
Wiseman Prediction: Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision.
FRANCISCO “SITKAYAN” TREVINO (12-1-0) VS SAGE “SUPER” HONEYCUTT (5-0-0)
NOTE: TREVINO WEIGHED IN AT 160 AND WILL FORFEIT 20% OF HIS PURSE TO HONEYCUTT
Wiseman: Northcutt is still a kid, but don’t let that fool you. His karate style fighting makes him very elusive and he has that finisher mentality. Trevino has more experience and is durable, so we finally get to see Northcutt go the distance. Trevino is well-rounded enough to really force Northcutt to think outside the box. However, the stance and flashy kicks of Northcutt will be enough to give him his first decision win.
Wiseman Prediction: Sage “Super” Honeycutt via unanimous decision.
ADRIANO MARTINS (27-7-0) VS ISLAM MAKHACHEV (12-0-0)
Wiseman: After an impressive win over Daron Cruickshank, Martins suffered a vicious KO from none other than Mr. Donald Cerrone. In his overall record he has finished 15 opponents. Makhachev has that same kind of hype behind him, so this fight should be a technical and entertaining fight. Makhachev is an skilled, entertaining grappler, but Martins is actual a terrible opponent for him. The Brazilian is not only an capable grappler, he’s absolutely massive for the division and should enjoy a considerable size advantage. On the feet, where I expect most of this fight to take place, I favor Martins’ power boxing over Makhachev’s accurate-but-loopy punches. Makhachev has tremendous talent, but Martins’ rock-solid base and punching power will give him the match.
Wiseman Prediction: Adriano Martins via unanimous decision.
TSN 2 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
#4 ROSE “THUG” NAMAJUNAS (3-2-0) VS ANGELA “OVERKILL” HILL (2-1-0)
Wiseman: While Namajunas may not have an impressive record at 3-2, take a minute to see how she won. Hill has good striking, but is still stiff and hesitant with each punch. Namajunas will walk forward, use her aggression to immediately put Hill on the defence, and get the win. Hill doesn’t do well when pressured, so should be an easy day at the octagon for Namajunas.
Wiseman Prediction: Rose “Thug” Namajunas via TKO.
ALAN “BRAHMA” JOUBAN (12-3-0) VS ALBERT “EINSTEIN” TUMENOV (15-2-0)
Wiseman: This is going to be a slugfest. These guys have power and they don’t want to mess around on the mat. It would be smart for Jouban to put Tumenov on his back actually, due to the fact that Tumenov has no ground game. The problem is that Tumenov has decent takedown defence. Honestly, the only time I see Jouban going for a takedown is when he is rocked. Tumenov is aggressive and has earth-shattering power. Jouban has been rocked before and doesn’t recover that well. Tumenov is a beast and will go for the kill when he sees blood.
Wiseman Prediction: Albert “Einstein” Tumenov via TKO.
#1 JOSEPH “JOE JITSU” BENAVIDEZ (22-4-0) VS #14 ALI “PUNCHER” BAGAUTINOV (13-3-0)
Wiseman: Benavidez is stuck amongst the top 3 of the division. Bagautinov is a hard hitter, but when we look at who is more well-rounded, it’s Benavidez. From his KO power, to his wrestling, smashed with a submission game, there is nowhere that Bagautino to go. In addition, Bagautinov has had one year off after testing positive for EPO. While he has been off, Benavidez has been fighting harder and higher level opponents.
Wiseman Prediction: Joseph “Joe Jitsu” Benavidez via unanimous decision.
YAIR “EL PANTERA” RODRIGUEZ (6-1-0) VS DANIEL “THE HANGMAN” HOOKER (13-5-0)
Wiseman: This is going to be a standing war. These guys love to throw leather, but are very technical. When we look at power, it’s Hooker. Rodriguez has a load of wins via decision simply because of his output with strikes. He doesn’t have the same kind of power that Hooker does, and looks to score points. On the other side of the coin, Hooker will go for the finish, either standing or on the mat. Both have good takedown defence, so I don’t see that happening unless one is rocked, so I see Hooker trying to really turn out the lights for Rodriguez. However, this will be quite the striking battle. If Hooker doesn’t rock Rodriguez early and put pressure on him, Rodriguez will win because he threw more strikes….again.
Wiseman Prediction: Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez via decision.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#6 JESSICA “EVIL” EYE (11-3-0, 1 NC) VS #12 JULIANNA “THE VENEZUELAN VIXEN” PENA (7-2-0)
Wiseman: While I have always enjoyed the striking of Eye, she has really met her match here with Pena. Eye, when pressured, doesn’t do well when moving backwards. Pena is a fantastic striker, with dominating power. She will push the pace, force Eye on the defence early, and get her power going with strikes. The other advantage for Pena is the fact that she is so well-rounded. Pena can roll on the mat or be in your face. Don’t let her love for pretty things fool you; she is a beast.
Wiseman Prediction: Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena via TKO.
SHAWN “THE SAVAGE” JORDAN (18-6-0) VS RUSLAN MAGOMEDOV (13-1-0)
Wiseman: I honestly feel bad for Magomedov. These guys are both strikers, but Jordan is a savage. He can wrestle with anyone, can move fast for a big guy, but ultimately it’s his power that is going to cripple Magomedov. To make matters worse, Magomedov is a kickboxer, so we know he is going to want to stay standing. That’s a terrible idea considering the power of Jordan with 14 or his 18 fights coming via KO.
Wiseman Prediction: Shawn Jordan via TKO.
#4 RYAN “DARTH” BADER (20-4-0) VS #5 “SUGA” RASHAD EVANS (24-3-1)
Wiseman: Well, this could be the fight to take a nap in. Two wrestlers who have been in the game for a long time. Evans hasn’t fought since 2013 due to knee injury, but while out he has found his hunger for the sport again. Bader has his eye on the prize and is coming off a 4-fight win streak, all decisions. Bader is good at looking busy. while Evans is coming into this fight with a little attitude according to what I saw on the Count Down, and realistically, I have Evans with better striking, more precision, and more power. If Evans goes to his back I see him being able to get up. I can’t say the same if Evans takes Bader down. This could be a quick fight and entertaining or the dullest fight on the card. Hopefully it’s the first option, but ultimately I see it being a long 15 mins.
Wiseman Prediction: “Suga” Rashad Evans via unanimous decision.
#1 JOHNY “BIGG RIGG” HENDRICKS (17-3-0) VS #3 TYRON “THE CHOSEN ONE” WOODLEY (15-3-0)
NOTE: THIS FIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO HENDRICKS’ WEIGHT CUTTING ISSUES.
(C) DANIEL “DC” CORMIER (16-1-0) VS ALEXANDER “THE MAULER” GUSTAFSSON (16-3-0)
Wiseman: Let’s be honest. Gustafsson is a striker while Cormier uses his wrestling and pressure to wear on people. I see Cormier using his Cain Velasquez-type fighting to stick to Gustafsson and grind out a win. Gustafsson is going to gas with Cormier just pressuring him like he did Johnson. Gustafsson only had such success with Jones because they both fight long. That won’t be the case with Cormier.
Wiseman Prediction: Daniel “DC” Cormier via unanimous decision.