UFC 192: Cormier vs Gustafsson – The Squared Octagon Recap

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

After not covering the Fight Pass Prelims for Fight Night or UFC 191, I took a poll asking if the readers would like me to. You chose no, so I will continue not to until that changes. I will mention that Sage Northcutt had an unbelievable debut, that can be watched in it’s entirety here:

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

Rose Namajunas def. Angela Hill via submission (rear-naked choke) R1

Round 1- After a few exchanges, Namajunas landed a takedown off of a punch. Hill panicked and tried to get to her feet too quickly, exposing her back. Namajunas capitalized with a rear naked choke, that led to her victory. It was only the third standing read naked choke win in UFC history.

Adriano Martins def. Islam Makhachev via KO R1

Round 1- For the first 90 seconds of this fight, it was a very back and fourth kickboxing-style matchup. Then, out of nowhere, Martins knocked Makhachev out with a vicious right hook. Makhachev was upset with the stoppage, but I think it was completely fine.

Albert Tumenov def. Alan Jouban via TKO R1

Round 1- Jouban came out swinging, and Tumenov picked him up and literally threw him to the side. I knew the fight was over right here, because there’s no recovering from that humility. Tumenov hit multiple head kicks and combinations as he chased Jouban around the cage. After a barrage of punches, as Joe Rogan likes to say, Jouban went down hard. Another fighter arguing with the referee over stoppage issues, another fighter that can barely walk across the octagon.

Yair Rodriguez def. Daniel Hooker via unanimous decision

Yair Rodriguez recieved a gigantic pop during introductions. One of the biggest of the night.

Round 1- Daniel Hooker kept his distance for the first half of the round, while Rodriguez showed him the variation of kicks in his arsenal. Hooker attempted a takedown that Yair turned into a takedown of his own, which unfortunately didn’t amount to much.

Round 2- Yair Rodriguez got really comfortable in the second, and threw some crazy-ass video game kicks. Hooker did a good job of defending a leglock that Rodriguez wanted, but other than that, didn’t do anything to impress me. It was all Yair, all round. Rodriguez finished the second with a picture-perfect takedown.

Round 3- Immediately, Rodriguez was kneed in the balls. Ouch. The fight resumed, and Hooker landed a takedown. Yair took advantage of Hooker not defending his legs, and tangled him up. From the leg-tangled position, both men exchanged shots, and Hooker got a nasty cut above his right eye. The fighters were stood up with thirty seconds remaining, and the fight went to an easy decision.

After the fight, we learned that Yair Rodriguez broke his foot in Round 1.

Main Card

Julianna Pena def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision

Round 1- Both fighters traded some hard shots in the opening moments, and Jessica Eye took Pena down, which was a common theme. Joe Rogan noted that even if Eye is on top of Pena, it’s not a good spot for her. They worked up to the clinch, where Pena got a takedown of her own. Evil Eye scrambled to her feet quickly, and was taken down one more time before the round was over.

Round 2- Eye took Pena down yet again, and did a surprisingly good job on offense. She didn’t let Pena out for four minutes, and attempted an arm triangle and guillotine. Pena eventually got to the top, and Eye kneed her in the head from the ground. It was hard to tell if intentional or not, but it certainly looked like it. The referee stopped the fight, stood the fighters up, and took a point away from Jessica Eye. Joe Rogan started ripping the ref apart for not knowing what he was doing, because technically the ref should have given Eye a warning and started the fight over from the ground. “What is this guy doing?!” was line of the night.

Round 3- Pena looked like she wanted a finish quickly, because she threw heavy hands in the first few seconds. She acquired a takedown, and Jessica Eye almost got a leg triangle out of it. I was genuinely shocked at Eye’s skill on the ground tonight. Pena escaped the triangle and grabbed a deep choke, which made it look like the fight was over. Somehow, Evil Eye broke free to lead the fight to a decision. Even without the point deduction, Pena wins the fight.

Joseph Benevidez def. Ali Bagautinov

Bagautinov needs to shave his head. His hair is so thin it’s disgusting. Let it go, man, you’ll look much better.

Round 1- Goldberg said the explosiveness of these guys is just fun to watch, and it kinda is? It’s fun when Demetrious Johnson is involved, these guys, not so much. Mighty Mouse is on another level, though, and I can’t see either of these guys ever coming close to beating him. Benevidez controlled most of the round, but sustained a cut over his left eye.

Round 2- Very uneventful round. Rogan and Goldie talked about the UFC’s schedule into January while the crowd grabbed their souvenirs. Bagautinov landed a takedown, but Benevidez’s striking earned him this round. The crowd booed as the horn sounded.

Round 3- Bagautinov landed a few takedowns, and was able to come closer to winning the round, but still couldn’t get the job done. Benevidez just picked his shots at the right times. Heavy boos from Houston.

In the post fight interview, Benevidez dropped a bomb: he’s getting married in six days. His wife (Megan Olivi) is gonna be PISSED about that left eye cut! He’ll hear about this for the rest of his life. (I’m kidding Megan, you’re a good sport (Who am I kidding? She’s going to be pissed) and I’m sure you won’t be upset in the slightest).

Ruslan Magomedov def. Shawn Jordan via unanimous decision

Round 1- Shawn Jordan took Ruslan into a clinch against the cage quickly, and hit a double leg in slow motion. The fighters stayed there for the majority of the round, but when they worked their way back to their feet, it got slightly more tolerable. Magomedov hit a few nice counter-combinations that won him the round.

Round 2- In between rounds, Jordan stated that he thinks his rib is broken. Regardless, Jordan hurt Magomedov in the first minute with a decent combination. Magomedov was able to stay in the fight, and threw a head kick that hit Jordan in the eye, which really bothered him. Magomedov actually asked him if he was okay before continuing, and then dominated the lackluster round.

Round 3- The crowd started doing the wave, because nobody gave a shit after the first two rounds. Ruslan came very close to finishing the fight with a barrage of head kicks, one of which cut Jordan’s other eye. How long are this goof’s toenails?! Anyway, Jordan was probably struggling to breathe to to his rib, and struggling to see due to his eye, because he didn’t evem seem like he wanted to win this one.

Ryan Bader def. Rashad Evans via unanimous decision

Round 1- Ryan Bader looked very good to open this fight. While Rashad couldn’t quite find his range, Bader was constantly sneaking in jabs. Rashad Evans had a few instances where he would land a punch or two, but he never put Bader in any danger.

Round 2- No different from the first, Bader continued to tag Rashad with his right jab and left hook. Bader shot in for a takedown and got it, only to get another in mere seconds. Rashad started getting more comfortable, and really pressured Bader from the center of the octagon. Unfortunately his right eye started to swell badly, and he couldn’t see out of it.

Round 3- Ryan Bader was gassed coming into the third round, but still got the job done. Rashad just couldn’t defend the left hook with his eye swelled shut. Bader landed a takedown at the end of the fight for good measure. This was probably the best Ryan Bader has ever looked, and probably the best he’ll ever look. I can’t imagine him beating anyone ranked above him.

Daniel Cormier (c) def. Alexander Gustafsson via split decision

Round 1- Daniel Cormier came in hot with his INSANE takedown, flipping Gus onto his back. For almost the rest of the round, DC destroyed Alex with ground and pound. Gustafsson got up with thirty seconds to go, and looked at his corner like, “Holy shit, what do I do?”

Round 2- Gustaffson put a cut under the Champ’s eye with a left hand, and took him down. Cormier was quick to his feet, and pissed off. He started swinging wildly, and Gus turned his back and RAN away from him. Gustafsson was trying his best to keep a distance for a majority of the round, because when DC got him close, he’d hit uppercuts in the clinch that hurt Gus bad. The Mauler landed another takedown at the end of the round.

Round 3- Gustafsson tagged Cormier with an uppercut of hit own in one of the first exchanges of Round 3, and DC responded with a right hand that bloodied the nose of Gus. The Champ hit some of the uppercuts he likes, and was swinging for the fences. DC actually seemed to be nervous with his fighting style. Gustafsson was absolutely hurt, but was able to hit a knee against the cage that took Cormier down for a moment.

Round 4- The Mauler started to really use his reach to his advantage in Round 4. He was using some of the jabs that Ryan Bader was using in the previous fight. Daniel Cormier was chasing Gus around the cage, and jumping into every punch to get the most out of them. The Champ threw his wrestling background out the window and didn’t go for a single takedown. Gustafsson was able to kick DC’s leg out from under him, but this was anybody’s round.

Round 5- Cormier kept chasing Gus down, which definitely had affect both men’s conditioning, especially Gustafsson’s. Alex continued to try for the knee that stunned DC in the third round, but never hit it flush. Most of the round was spent in the clinch, which Cormier controlled.

Another heartbreaking decision loss for Gustafsson. DC thanked Gus for making him a better fighter, and UFC 192 faded to black. The main event was an unbelievable fight that made up for the two shitty fights earlier on. Overall, UFC 192 was a fun show. Sorry if you had to miss it (not really, because it probably led you here, and I live for page views).

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