Five most intriguing fights at UFC 192

The UFC returns this weekend with UFC 192 in Houston. Top to bottom, it is one of the best efforts the promotion has put out in years. From Fight Pass to the pay-per-view main card, this even is stacked. UFC 192

The light heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson is an extremely interesting main event in that it is a very difficult fight to predict.

Either way, the winner will likely punch his ticket to a rematch with a returning Jon Jones.

Let’s take a look at five other intriguing bouts on the card.

5. Sage Northcutt vs. Francisco Trevino
The 19 year-old Northcutt is a superstar in the making. Being promoted on their new reality show and included in their open workouts, the UFC clearly sees the potential. Trevino, while a serviceable lightweight, is mostly here as a stepping stone. Tune into Fight Pass for this one as it definitely ain’t your Momma’s normal curtain jerker.

4. Islam Makhachev vs. Adriano Martins
Makhachev is yet another dangerous prospect to come out of Dagestan. Having dispatched Leo Kuntz with ease in his octagon debut, he returns Saturday night to take on veteran Adriano Martins. Martins is coming off the biggest win of his career, an upset win over another dangerous Dagestani, Rustam Khabilov. A win here for either man puts them into the mix at lightweight, likely commanding a top 15 opponent next time out.

3. Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Cariaso
Two flyweights badly in need of a win. Pettis, once thought to be the next big thing, is coming off of a flash knockout loss to Ryan Benoit in a fight he was winning throughout. Cariaso has lost two in a row, albeit to two of the division’s best. The speed and output of Pettis’ striking will likely be a problem for Cariaso. Cariaso will need to use his pressure game on Pettis in hopes of dragging him into deep waters and testing his durability.

2. Rashad Evans vs. Ryan Bader
Evans returns from injury after almost two years away from the cage. At 36 years old, how much does he have left? Riding a four-fight win streak in an increasingly shallow division, Bader will look to cement his status as the de-facto number 1 contender in a Jones-less world. In previous attempts to breakthrough, Bader has faltered against the division’s elite. Now is his chance. It sounds strange to say, but this fight might come down to the wrestling of Evans against the power of Bader.

1. Albert Tumenov vs. Alan Jouban
Two of the most violent men in the welterweight division. Good thing this one isn’t a “First Blood” match. Tumenov is likely to be the better-rounded of the two but Jouban loves to engage and has all types of power. The battle will come down to whether Jouban can work into the clinch and exchange in the pocket or if Tumenov can exact his brand of violence from distance. This should be a fun one.