June 13th will mark the return of the heavyweight king, Cain Velasquez, as he takes on interim titleholder Fabricio Werdum. It’s been almost two years since Cain’s last fight in the Octagon, where he finished the Junior Dos Santos trilogy in dominating fashion by way of a 5th round stoppage. Since then he has been battling a knee injury, the same injury that pulled Cain off the card when he was first booked to met Werdum in Mexico. Because of that injury the UFC felt it necessary to have Werdum fight Mark Hunt for an interim title. In that bout, Werdum landed a powerful knee after a faked takedown which lead to a TKO stoppage in the 2nd round.
There are two main factors going into this fight. The first being the layoff of Velasquez as everyone wonders if the long hiatus will affect his performance. Secondly, the elevation. Mexico City is at a very high altitude and many people wonder if that will that play a part, due to the fact that this fight is 5 rounds. Both Cain and Werdum have made special arrangements to acclimate their bodies but will it be enough?
This same month, 5 years ago, Werdum shocked the MMA world by beating the best heavyweight ever in Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor swarmed, with winging left and right hooks, and Werdum ended up on the canvas catching Fedor in a triangle armbar combination that forced The Last Emperor to tap. The question now is; does Werdum have another trick up his sleeve that he can use to shock the MMA world once again?
Werdum has shown huge improvements in the striking department since that prone fight with Fedor. He has demonstrated boxing clinics in his fights against Travis Browne and Roy Nelson, by using a varying attack that included flashy kicks and a vicious thai clinch. Regardless, at the end of the day Fabrico will always be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter. He has won Black Belt worlds and ADCC twice. These are the highest accolades a Jiu Jitsu practitioner can achieve but will those accolades even matter? Can Werdum effectively use his Jiu Jitsu against a man who is a world class wrestler and also a black belt himself?
Fabricio Werdum is going up against a fighter who is a stylistic nightmare, as mentioned, Cain has great boxing and fantastic wrestling, on top of all that he pushes the pace and has maybe the best cardio the heavyweight division has ever seen. This fight will be won for Fabricio on the feet, and I don’t mean in the sense of a KO or TKO, but he has to earn the respect of Cain Velasquez, he cannot let Velasquez continually move forward and push him against the cage. Cain really lets loose with his combinations against the cage and he has great takedowns from there as well. Werdum will have to avoid standing straight in front of Cain, during the fight with Travis Browne there were many times when Werdum landed while both were standing still in the middle of the cage, I don’t believe he will have that opportunity against Cain, as he is usually pushing forward. If I’m Rafael Cordeiro I want Werdum on his bicycle the whole fight, always moving, always looking for a better angle, the only problem is even in a fight where he dominated, Werdum looked very tired against Travis and landed a lot of his shots because Travis was gassed as well. I just don’t think Werdum has the cardio to move as much as he needs, he may have success in the first round but it will be at the cost of a lot of energy, the only way I can see Werdum winning is if he pulls off a submission from his back after the inevitable takedown from Cain. Fabrico has done it once, but can lightning strike twice?
Cain Velasquez will fulfill a life time dream by headlining a fight card in his family’s home country of Mexico. He will be coming off a almost two year hiatus and will look to show the world that he is the baddest man on the planet. Cain has looked dominant in all this fights sans the quick KO loss to Junior Dos Santos, and he has already shown that fight was just a slight bump in the road, easily winning the next two fights against JDS. Cain is probably most well known for his ridiculous cardio, the pace the puts on his opponents breaks them,they are not able to keep up with his output whether it be punches, kicks or takedowns he just doesn’t stop. There are a few major differences in this fight though; he hasn’t fought in a long time, octagon rust has shown to be a real thing, and on top of all that the high elevation of Mexico City will be strenuous for even the biggest cardio tanks.
Cain Velasquez, assuming he is the same fighter that fought back in 2013 should be able to excite the hometown crowd with a victory. I see Cain’s ability to put it all together being what wins him this fight, he is one of the best fighters that transitions from striking to clinch work to wrestling and then back to striking. Cain will take the middle of the cage and use his forward pressure and high pace to put Werdum against the cage and work from the clinch, I suspect Cain to take down Werdum even though at first glance it may seem ill advised, Cain has seen Werdum’s fight with Fedor, he knows what happens if you just strike with reckless abandonment, he will will use the takedown to break Werdum’s will and tire him within the first couple of rounds. From there he will continue to push against the cage and mix up knees to the legs and punch combinations on the breaks, this partnered with takedowns will be too much for the interim title holder. If Werdum’s chin holds up I can see Cain winning by TKO in the third or fourth round by ground and pound, Werdum will tire and Cain will keep on pushing forward to where Werdum’s Jiu Jitsu will be all for not.
UFC is looking at Cain Velasquez as the Mexican version of GSP, if he is able to look dominate in this fight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he only fights there as it’s basically giving the UFC the ability to print money. I think Cain’s pace and clinch work will lead him to an easy victory. Werdum has the credentials to shock the world by catching him in a submission but I just don’t see a likely scenario in which it happens. I foresee Werdum able to have some success in the first round, possibly even winning the first round due to Werdum being fresh and Cain needing to knock off some Octagon rust. But once the second round starts it will be all Cain, Werdum will tire as he has shown in the past and Cain will keep on cruising to a 3rd or 4th round stoppage.
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.
Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.
First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.
Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.
Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.
In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.
UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira.
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