On Saturday, Oct. 3, the UFC hosted UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson from the Toyota Center in Houston.
In the night’s main event, light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier aimed to make the first defense of his belt as he took on Sweden’s Alexander Gustafsson. Cormier bounced back from the first loss of his career — to then-champion Jon Jones — to submit Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 187 in May and capture UFC gold. Both Jones and Johnson were familiar foes for the 28-year-old Gustafsson, as both of his losses since 2010 had come against the two men, including a knockout loss to Johnson in January.
The co-main event featured another light heavyweight clash between former champion Rashad Evans and former TUF winner Ryan Bader. Both fighters were looking to earn a crack at the winner of the main event.
The 12-fight event kicked off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET with three fights streaming on UFC Fight Pass. Four additional preliminary card bouts followed at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, with the five-fight main card airing live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
It was a five-round war between Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, but Cormier retained the 205-pound title with a split decision win. Cormier used his wrestling to put the lanky Swede on the ground to start the fight. In round two, Gustafsson scored his own takedown and used his reach to keep Cormier at range. The third round saw Cormier land a barrage of uppercuts and open up multiple cuts on the face of Gustafsson. Late in the round, the Swede connected with a huge knee that dropped Cormier and forced him to cover up. Round four was razor close as Gustafsson again scored at range, while Cormier delivered uppercuts. It was more of the same in the final round as both men looked to survive. When it was all said and done, two of the judges at cageside gave the fight to the champion.
Light heavyweight Ryan Bader put on the best performance of his career, battering former champion Rashad Evans for the full three rounds. Bader came out and established his jab immediately and then found a home for a right uppercut. The right eye of Evans began swelling very early in the fight. Bader was able to mix in takedowns and prevent Evans from generating offense. Bader swept all three scorecards with the dominant performance.
Russian heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov utilized a patient striking attack to get the best of slugger Shawn Jordan. Jordan put Magomedov on his back near the fence early in the fight, but could not keep the fight there for long. Magomedov found his range and began firing head kicks. Those kicks kept Jordan at range and cuts opened up under both eyes of Jordan. Jordan plowed forward throughout, but Magomedov was precise with his counterstrikes, earning the decision win.
In a clash of former flyweight title challengers, Joseph Benavidez eked out a decision over Ali Bagautinov. The opening stanza was very close as both fighters traded heavy shots. Benavidez connected with an overhand right, but Bagautinov delivered an uppercut that opened a cut on the left eye of Benavidez. The kicking game of Benavidez was the difference in round two as he repeatedly landed to the body. Bagautinov pushed hard late in the fight, scoring with a late takedown. However, the judges rewarded Benavidez for his efforts.
TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena used a strong grappling game to edge Jessica Eye on the scorecards. Eye scored early from the clinch, but Pena earned multiple takedowns. Eye bounced back in round two with a strong round. She threatened with an arm-triangle choke, but Pena escaped. An errant knee from Eye landed to Pena’s head on the ground, resulting in a point deduction. Pena scored with another takedown in round three and attacked with a deep rear-naked choke. Eye survived, but it wasn’t enough, as Pena took the win.
Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez used a variety of strikes to outwork New Zealand’s Daniel Hooker and earn a unanimous decision victory. Rodriguez scored with kicks and a big toss when Hooker looked for a takedown. Hooker marched forward throughout the bout, but it was Rodriguez that inflicted damage. Elbows from the bottom opened up multiple cuts on the face of Hooker in the final round, helping Rodriguez earn the win.
Albert Tumenov showcased his striking prowess, finishing off Alan Jouban in the first round. Jouban landed to the body early, but Tumenov tossed him to the mat and responded with a head kick as he stood. Tumenov found his range and continued to fire the right head kick. Midway through the round, it connected and Jouban was rocked. Heavy punches followed and Jouban crashed face-first to the ground.
Brazil’s Adriano Martins spoiled the perfect record of Dagestan’s Islam Makhachev with a violent, first-round knockout. The pair traded heavy shots early, but it was a massive right hand from Martins that landed flush as Makhachev came forward that put an end to the bout.
Former strawweight title challenger Rose Namajunas got back in the win column with a first-round finish of fellow TUF 20 castmate Angela Hill. The pair exchanged on the feet, but Namajunas took the fight to the ground with a trip. Hill tried to stand, but gave up her back and Namajunas locked on the fight-finishing choke.
Nineteen-year-old Sage Northcutt needed just 57 seconds to dispatch of Francisco Trevino and earn his first UFC win. Northcutt capitalized on a slip from Trevino and swarmed with punches. He took Trevino to the canvas and delivered a series of punches and elbows to finish the fight.
Flyweight Sergio Pettis used two strong rounds to top former title challenger Chris Cariaso on the judges’ scorecards. Pettis scored takedowns by catching kicks from Cariaso in each of the rounds. The reach of Pettis was a factor as he landed with jabs and dropped Cariaso with a right hand. Cariaso put together a strong final round, attacking with a heel hook late, but it wasn’t enough.
Heavyweight Derrick Lewis survived a tough start against Viktor Pesta to earn a third-round TKO. Pesta took Lewis to the ground at will through the first two rounds, but late in round two, Lewis connected with heavy shots to stun Pesta. Lewis poured it on in round three, mounting Pesta and forcing the referee to intervene.