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UFC 192 'Prelims:' Fight Pass undercard preview and predictions, Pt. 1

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More fights are coming to Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Oct. 3, 2015) when UFC 192: “Cormier vs. Gustafsson” kicks off from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC 192 "Prelims" party with the first installment of a two-part under card preview series.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This'll be a scrap ... no "Bones" about it!

I'm so sorry.

This Saturday evening (Oct. 3, 2015), someone other than Jon Jones will defend the Light Heavyweight title for the first time since UFC 128 as newly-crowned king Daniel Cormier takes on Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 192. Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, will also feature a Welterweight clash between former wrestling rivals Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley, as well as the return of Rashad Evans after nearly two years away.

UFC 192 is a mighty fine pay-per-view (PPV), one with a whopping eight "Prelims" undercard matches to set the table. The first set, as you could probably guess by the title, will be on Fight Pass, so now's the part where you learn if your'e getting your money's worth.

155 lbs.: Adriano Martins vs. Islam Makhachev

After an impressive win over Daron Cruickshank in his Octagon debut, the hulking Adriano Martins (27-7) became the unfortunate recipient of one of 2014’s best knockouts courtesy of Donald Cerrone. He’s won twice since, a one-punch starching of Juan Manuel Puig two Julys ago and an upset of Rustam Khabilov in February.

Martins has stopped fifteen opponents overall, twelve via submission.

A training partner of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev (12-0) entered UFC with some hype behind him as one of the top prospects in the world. This past May, he showcased his skills with a second-round submission of Leo Kuntz for his third-straight tapout win.

He’s tapped six overall and knocked out another two.

Makhachev is an extremely skilled, extremely entertaining grappler, which is the reason I was so disappointed to see this match up. Among those between the Top 10- and 20-ranked in the Lightweight division, Martins may be his worst matchup. The Brazilian is not only an extremely capable grappler, he’s absolutely massive for the division and should enjoy a considerable size advantage.

On the feet, where I expect most of this fight to take place, I favor Martins’ power boxing over Makhachev’s accurate-but-loopy punches. Makhachev certainly has tremendous talent, but Martins’ rock-solid base and punching power should carry the Brazilian to a close but clear decision.

Prediction: Martins via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Cariaso

After a 3-1 start to his UFC career as a Bantamweight, Sergio Pettis (12-2) returned to 125 pounds in March to face knockout artist Ryan Benoit. Early in the second round, Benoit caught "The Phenom" in an exchange, handing the young prospect his first (technical) knockout loss.

He stands three inches taller than Chris Cariaso (17-7) at 5’6."

Three straight wins, the last one a decision over Louis Smolka, earned "Kamikaze" a title shot on the stacked UFC 178. Cariaso ultimately tapped to a second-round Kimura before losing a decision to Henry Cejudo in his next fight.

At 34, he is 12 years older than his opponent.

It’s become clear that, at this point in time, Pettis does not have the chin to succeed at the highest level -- or at least doesn’t yet have the striking defense to compensate for it. Alex Caceres, Matt Hobar and Benoit all found his jaw despite none of them possessing the same level of technical acumen.

Thankfully, if there’s one thing we know about Cariaso, it’s that he really, really sucks at finishing people. His attrition stoppage of Iliarde Santos was his first finish since 2009 -- that’s one finish in his last 14 fights. Considering he comes up short against Pettis in almost every aspect besides durability, that’s not exactly confidence-inducing.

Pettis controls the fight on the feet and mat for a clear decision win.

Prediction: Pettis def. Cariaso via unanimous decision

265 lbs.: Viktor Pesta vs. Derrick Lewis

Despite a solid effort in defeat against Ruslan Magomedov, Viktor Pesta (10-1) entered his sophomore UFC effort a sizable underdog against power-punching Konstantin Erokhin. Impressively, the Czech veteran managed to survive Erokhin’s best shots and control the latter part of the fight, ultimately taking home the unanimous decision.

He’s stopped seven opponents overall, four by form of knockout.

Last year, Derrick Lewis (12-4) burst onto the scene with savage ground-and-pound beatdowns of Jack May and "Guto Inocente." He’s since gone 1-2, smashing Ruan Potts in between knockout losses to Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan.

All 12 of his victories are by stoppage, 10 of them knockouts.

As terrifying as Lewis can be, I’m picking Pesta for one very simple reason: No human being should be able to survive the kinds of punches Konstantin Erokhin hit him with. Konstantin Erokhin punches qualify as natural disasters and Pesta ate them like they were nothing.

With that sort of toughness, in conjunction with his grappling ability, Lewis will be hard-pressed to bring his lethal ground-and-pound to bear. On the feet, Lewis’ wild punches won’t serve him well against someone whom he’s unlikely to finish with strikes.

Pesta survives a rough start and grinds his way to a close decision win.

Prediction: Pesta def. Lewis via unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Sage Northcutt vs. Frank Trevino

Former Disney XD actor and karate black belt, Sage Northcutt (5-0), made his professional debut in Nov. 2014 at the age of 18, after a six-fight, 5-1 amateur career. As a professional, he’s finished four opponents in the first round. The most recent foe lasted to the middle of the second round before becoming Northcutt’s second-straight submission victim.

He stands two inches taller than Frank Trevino (12-1) at 6’0."

Trevino began his UFC career in March 2014, defeating former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" competitor Renee Forte after a rough first round. He returned 14 months later against rising prospect Johnny Case, whom he took the distance before ultimately losing a decision.

His 12 wins are split perfectly between knockouts, submissions and decisions.

All things considered, Trevino’s a pretty solid first opponent for Northcutt. Trevino’s durable enough that Northcutt should have to go 15 minutes for the first time -- not a threat for a quick-kill finish and just skilled enough in most departments that we should get a good idea of what Sage can do.

Barring cardio issues. Northcutt should be able to control this fight comfortably on the feet; his karate stylings ostensibly match up well against the plodding Trevino. Expect him to win a fairly one-sided striking battle, showing off some flashy kicks but ultimately settling for the unanimous decision.

Prediction: Northcutt via unanimous decision

Four more UFC 192 "Prelims" fights to preview and predict tomorrow, all of them with the potential to be great scraps.

See you then, Maniacs!

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 192 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.