UFC 192 Betting Odds & Free Picks: Can the Mauler Defeat Cormier?

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:28 PM GMT

The UFC odds makers have  Daniel Cormier as a -350 favorite but what doesGustafsson have to do to in order to become a live underdog and become the new UFC Light Heavyweight champ?

Can Gus Rebound?
Devastated. That is the word that sums up Gustafsson after he was stunningly starched in his most recent match that saw Anthony “Rumble” Johnson TKO The Mauler for the first time in his career. Gustafsson is normally the one doing the starching but this time he was beaten at his own game and it didn’t sit well with the 28-year-old striking sensation as he crumbled to the canvas after being on the receiving end of a wicked right cross. After Herb Dean waved off Johnson, who was in the process of delivering hammer strikes Gustafsson’s temple as he lay in the prone position, it was evident from his head buried between his hands and flush with the canvas that the abrupt loss hurt far more than the blows rained down upon him.

Gustafsson offered the following after the fight,

"It was really bad. I lost fights before, but this fight was the fight I couldn’t lose…”

"I was supposed to win this fight, but I didn’t. I was thinking about that, to quit the sport. I was really depressed after the fight."

"It was a really bad blow for me – for my career and my personal life. It was a tough hit to take. The fight I couldn’t lose, I actually lost."

The question becomes how will a fighter who was contemplating retirement from the sport rebound after deciding to reengage? Gustafsson has said all the right things since committing himself to MMA and is dedicated to a triumphant return. But though time heals all wounds there are scars that may never fully heal. Talk is cheap but in order for Gustafsson to truly have a chance against Cormier he must walk the walk. The UFC odds makers believe he will have an uphill battle against an elite mat tactician like Daniel Cormier.

 

The Battle Plan
Daniel Cormier has a key piece of information that Jon Jones never had when he locked horns with Gustafsson in their championship brawl for the ages. Cormier now knows that Gustafsson possesses an outstanding takedown defense. Gustafsson will need to employ this as seamlessly as he did when he fought Jones otherwise this will be ground control, not to Major Tom, but to a major defeat for the 28-year-old Swede.

Therefore, if the challenger has any chance of cashing in our UFC picks then we have to assume he will thwart Cormier at nearly every turn and make him pay each and every time he shoots for a takedown. Gustafsson will need to deliver front kicks for spacing and follow up with his lethal combinations before Cormier has a chance to move inside, clinch and hurl. Gustafsson has the chops to do this and Cormier himself was rebuffed throughout his fight with Jon Jones. Both Jones and Gustafsson are tall, rangy and dangerously powerful strikers. Of course Jones owns a brilliant mat game that Gustafsson lacks but if this fight is fought standing up there will undeniably be a new world champion at UFC odds that make this underdog well worth betting.

The critical question is will The Mauler be confident or despondent the first time he is taken to the canvas? His sheer will and steely resolve could change the complexion of this fight. Unfortunately we will not truly know how he responds until he is in deep water and the only way out is to get back on his feet and stick to his game plan. This is one dog whose bite could be worse than his bark and with UFC odds of +305 at 5Dimes he is likely worth a few bucks.

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