UFC Fight Night 192 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann
The No.6 ranked Smith comes into this fight off of back-to-back first round finishes in the past 12 months and now fights the No.11 placed Spann, who has gone unbeaten in his last five UFC outings.
On the feet Spann has a significant reach advantage in addition to being 1″ taller than Smith, which he’ll utilize with his hard-hitting strikes from distance.
Like Spann, Smith has fight-ending power, but he’s more methodical with his output and will land heavy kicks to the legs, body and head alongside his punches, in addition to also being durable, which he proves more often he should have to due to being too hittable at times.
Spann also likes to make use of his wrestling and he could have success in that regard given that Smith’s takedown defense isn’t the best, though once the fight hits the mat he is a capable grappler in his own right.
A problem for Spann is that his cardio can falter over the course of a fight, and he has a tendency to either finish a fight early, or not at all, and that could be an issue against ‘Lionheart’, who has good energy reserves from start to finish and is no stranger to stealing himself for a late stoppage win.
It’s easy to see that there’s potential for both men to emerge victorious here, but I think Smith can get the better of the striking exchanges and his toughness will enable him to survive the first couple of rounds where Spann is at his most dangerous, even if he has to spend some of it on his back, before starting to get the upper-hand in the rounds that follow, enabling him to hurt his opponent on the feet and then submit him on the mat in the fourth round.
Pick: Anthony Smith wins by submission in Rd4.
Ion Cuțelaba vs. Devin Clark
Cutelaba’s back is against the wall coming into this fight given that he’s only picked up one win in his last five fights in the UFC, while Clark was a on two-fight winning streak prior to his submission loss to tomorrow night’s headliner Anthony Smith earlier in the year.
We’ve come to know what to expect from Cutelaba over the course of his UFC career as he’s a major threat in the opening round of a fight with his aggressive style that will see him seek a knockout on the feet, or drive in for a takedown and look to land heavy ground-and-pound to produce the same outcome.
At times it can work well for him, but if he doesn’t get the finish then he becomes a much less fearsome prospect in the rounds that follow, while good fighters who are not overawed by his pressure can also punish him even when he’s in full-on ‘Hulk’ mode.
Clark is quite different stylistically as he’s not really that much of a finisher, particularly on the feet, but he does possess solid wrestling and is much more consistent over three rounds, as proven by the fact that he’s racked up a large number of decision wins over the course of his career.
Clark has been finished by strikes a couple of times, which will make him wary of the early onslaught, but what tends to be his biggest flaw is his submission defense, but I don’t see that being a big issue against Cutelaba.
It is possible that Cutelaba could catch Clark with big punches and deliver an early finish here, but I’ll take Clark to survive the early scares and use his wrestling to get the better of his opponent and tire him out, leading to a win on the scorecards.
Pick: Devin Clark wins by decision.
Nate Maness vs. Tony Gravely
This fight was initially supposed to take place on the prelims, but a fight week call-off leads to it moving to main card status as the two fighters each to build on back-to-back wins in the promotion.
Gravely is at a significant size disadvantage here, being 5″ shorter and with 3″ less reach to work with, but that won’t necessarily trouble him too much as he’s a strong wrestler who will consistently seek out big takedowns and also can land heavy ground-and-pound, though all that exertion can compromise his cardio in the latter stage of a fight, and his submission defense is a weak point.
Maness is more of a jack-of-all-trades style of fighter who doesn’t stand out in any one area, but will be looking to make the most of his size advantage on the feet, but coming off a submission victory last time out he may well see his best chance of getting a finish coming on the mat.
It’s certainly possible, though over the course of his career Maness hasn’t consistently been a particularly potent submission specialist on the mat. As such, I’m more willing to lean towards Gravely here as he will undoubtedly find success with his takedowns and wrestling here, while his striking has improved to an extent too, so I see him winning by decision here.
Pick: Tony Gravely wins by decision.
Ariane Lipski vs. Mandy Böhm
This fight was initially supposed to take place a couple of weeks ago, but was postponed and now takes place here as Lipski attempts to get back on track after two losses in a row, while Bohm makes her UFC debut after compiling a 7-0 record that includes a win in the Bellator promotion last year.
Lipski is known as the ‘Queen Of Violence’, so it must have been a bitter pill to swallow that she’s the one who has been TKO’d twice in a row and that’s clearly a concern, though she still remains a good muay thai striker with fast strikes and solid work from the clinch. Her ground game is less convincing though, as though she can do respectable work on top at times, she can also be controlled when she’s the one on her back.
On paper Bohm is a bit more well-rounded and has the better wrestling of the two, though she doesn’t have the best control when she is on top. However, Bohm is also a capable striker, will have a 3″ reach advantage and is effective from clinch positions.
I expect this to be a closely fought fight. I don’t think it’s time to write off Lipski based on her recent losses as she’s still only 27 and appears to be getting good training these days at ATT as she works hard to shore up her weaknesses. As such I’m going to cautiously take her to get the better of Bohm with her faster, more technical offense on the feet and hold her own in the clinch, while limiting her opponent’s opportunities to control her on the mat.
Pick: Ariane Lipski wins by decision.
Arman Tsarukyan vs. Christos Giagos
These two come into this fight with a few wins under their belt, though it has to be said that Tsarukyan is the one who has the most hype behind him, with only one of the lightweight division’s top talents in Islam Makhachev having beaten him in the past five years.
Giagos is certainly a solid fighter in his own right though, possessing functional striking, but really doing his best work on the mat.
The problem with that is that Tsarukyan is just a level above most in the division with his own wrestling and he’ll tirelessly seek to chain takedown attempts until he gets the fight to the floor and controls the action from on top.
So Giagos will be at a wrestling disadvantage, not to mention a cardio deficit too, so while I do think he can survive until the final bell, I feel confident that it’s Tsarukyan who will emerge with his hand raised at the end here.
Pick: Arman Tsarukyan Wins by decision.
Joaquin Buckley vs. Antônio Arroyo
After initially making a name for himself with a couple of viral knockout finishes, Buckley fell victim to a head kick KO himself last time out, and now finds himself going up against Arroyo, whose yet to pick up a win in his two UFC outings to date.
The thickly built Buckley’s boxing is where he’s at his best, throwing with speed and power behind a high guard, but there are signs that he could be a ‘glass cannon’ due to having been stopped himself a few times now, while he’s also not got a whole lot to offer on the mat.
Arroyo is the more well-rounded of the two as he has a submission game to go alongside his striking ability. He’ll also have a 4″ height advantage here, though he’s actually giving up 2.5″ in reach to Buckley.
Arroyo will look to operate from range and will throw solid kicks and he’s light on his feet too with good movement, but he keeps a low guard, which could be tempting fate against someone with Buckley’s explosive power, so that, together with the fact that Arroyo really hasn’t shown up well in his UFC outings to date makes me lean towards Buckley to secure a second round TKO stoppage here.
Pick: Joaquin Buckley wins by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Mike Rodríguez vs. Tafon Nchukwi
Pannie Kianzad vs. Raquel Pennington
Nikolas Motta vs. Cameron VanCamp
Dakota Bush vs. Zhu Rong
Montel Jackson vs. JP Buys
Erin Blanchfield vs. Sarah Alpar
Impa Kasanganay vs. Carlston Harris
Gustavo Lopez vs. Heili Alateng
Cory Mckenna vs. Emily Whitmire