UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum is finally upon us. Cain Velasquez was supposed to fight Fabricio Werdum in the UFC 180 main event before he pulled out with an injury. That necessitated an interim heavyweight title fight, which Werdum won over Mark Hunt by TKO. Now Cain is back after nearly two full years out of the Octagon, ready to unify the two belts.
In the co-main event of this card at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City is a lightweight clash between former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and ex-Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez. Bloody Elbow is your one-stop shop for play-by-play and results of these two great fights along with the rest of the main card.
Feel free to check out this week's MMA Vivisection for detailed analysis and predictions of the whole event. Following the completion of the main card, Bloody Elbow will provide extensive post-event coverage, including news, post-fight bonuses, and a live stream of the press conference.
The pay-per-view main card broadcast begins live at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with Kid Nate on play-by-play duties. Here's the official bout order:
Angela Hill vs. Tecia Torres - Women's Strawweights
Round 1: Hill claiming cage center. Landing some punches, eats a side kick to the body. Torres shoots and Hill fends it off but ends up clinched against the cage. Hill reverses they trade knees to the body. They spin against the cage. Hill ends up on the outside. Knees from Torres who reverses again. Hill lands a right on the break. Hill pressing the action. Torres shoots and gets the take down. Torres in half guard. Torres dominates position but can't do much with it. 10-9 Torres.
Round 2: Hill pressing forward but Torres is circling well and firing punches. Torres with a nice knee tap take down. Side control. Hill gets half guard. They are completely stalled out. Back to side control. Torres moves to mount. Hill reclaims half guard. Joe Rogan amazed that this isn't a striking fest but admits it's the most boring possible outcome. Big John forces a stand up. They immediately clinch. Knee by Hill. Torres forces her to the cage. 10-9 Torres.
Round 3: Torres' corner calls for more of the same. Hill breathing heavy. Torres lands a punch-kick combo. Hill with a leg kick. Some jabs. Has cage center. Hill stuffs a slo mo shoot. Another. They trade missed punches. Hill still coming forward. Torres forces a clinch. Eats a knee, working for a take down. Hill looking for a guillotine. Gives it up. Lands some elbows to the head. Ref calls for a break. Immediate return to the clinch. Hill landing some elbows with her back to the cage. 10-10 on that last one, although I'd score it 9-9 if I could.
Official Result: Tecia Torres def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27x2, 29-28).
Yair Rodriguez vs. Charles Rosa - Featherweights
Round 1: Rosa takes center cage. Rodriguez fires a wheel kick. Lands a wheel kick. Mid-air switch kick! A flying knee. Rosa follows him down. Rodriguez threatening with a triangle. Rosa is surviving but not escaping. Rosa finally escapes at 2:30 left in the round. Rosa firing away from Rodriguez' guard. Rosa takes the back. Gets one hook in. Rodriguez standing. Rosa still has one hook in. Yair gets dumped on his back but lands some sharp upkicks. Rosa lands hard punches from top. An elbow. Another. Elbows to the body and head of Rodriguez. They stand. 10-9 Rodriguez although Rosa almost turned it around at the end.
Round 2: Rodriguez opens with some nice leg kicks. Another side kick to the head. Yair is fun to watch. Rosa charging forward behind punches. Rodriguez stuffs a shot. Hard body kick to Rosa's gut. He answers with a left. Rosa forces a clinch. Rosa bleeding bad enough the ref checks him out when they break. Forces another clinch. Rodriguez escapes. Landing punches on Rosa. Fires an upward elbow, misses. Rosa rolls for a leg lock. Rosa gets a take down. Rodriguez rolls him over and ends the round with some hard elbows. 10-9 Rodriguez.
Round 3: Rosa shoots early, gets the take down. Rodriguez in closed guard. Rosa firing from top position. Rodriguez mostly controlling his arms. Elbow from Rosa. Rodriguez locks up a triangle. Firing elbows to the head. Rosa escapes. Trying to circle around and pass. Rodriguez rolls to turtle position. Rosa on top in side control, looking for a kimura or a Peruvian necktie, then a crucifix attempt and Rodriguez escapes. Rosa gets him back down. Takes side control. Rodriguez rolls into a triangle attempt, lands an upkick. Rosa punches the mat very hard. Firiing away from top position. Eats an upkick. Fight ends with Rosa on top. Rosa 10-9 but loses 2-1 on my card.
Official Result: Yair Rodriguez def. Charles Rosa via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29).
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nate Marquardt - Middleweights
Round 1: Gastelum takes center cage to open. Marquardt tries to fight out of it. Gastelum forcing him back and Nate firing back and circling out. Gastelum lands a sharp left. Knee to the body. Marquardt lands a sharp combo and moves forward. Gastelum lands in answer. They clinch up. Marquardt pushes him back against the cage. Kelvin landing knees to the body. Lands an overhand on the break. Gastelum landing jabs. Marquardt fires back and forces a clinch. TD from Marquardt but Kelvin is right back up. Kelvin gets a take down. Nate rolls and gives up his back. Nate has wrist control. Kelvin gives up the back. Nate rolls for a knee bar and escapes. Jab and body kick from Kelvin. Mean combo to end the round by Gastelum. 10-9 Gastelum.
Round 2: Gastelum moving forward. Landing leg kicks. Jabs. Hard left. Marquardt not able to land. They clinch. Gastelum picking him apart at range. Slowly forcing him back to the cage. Nate is covering up. Eats a hard knee. Falls. Kelvin is pounding away. Rogan is calling for the stoppage. Gastelum is committing assault and battery here. Marquardt kicks Gastelum off him. Gastelum quickly gets a front headlock and Marquardt lays right down. Kelvin standing over a turtled Marquardt. Trying to get the hooks in and get the RNC. Marquardt rolls to his back. Kelvin continues to batter him. Back to turtle. More punches. Marquardt tries to roll for a leg lock. Lands an upkick. 10-8 Gastelum. Nate's corner stops the fight between rounds. Kelvin Gastelum wins by TKO.
Official Result: Kelvin Gastelum def. Nate Marquardt via TKO after 2 rounds.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez - Lightweights
Round 1: Alvarez lands to the body. Melendez pushing forward behind out of range jabs. Alvarez circling to his left. Melendez lands a triple jab combo. Then catches Eddie coming in and rocks him back with a right elbow. Melendez follows up with a left. Lets Alvarez recover. Alvarez slowly getting walked down. They close and both miss. Alvarez moving well again, bouncing on his feet. Very little action. Alvarez lands a leg kick. Another jab from Melendez. Crowd booing as the round ends. They touch gloves to end the round. 10-9 Melendez. Alvarez might have a broken nose.
Round 2: Alvarez blows his nose and his eye swells right up. Alvarez lands a right. Melendez still controlling cage center. Alvarez shoots. Melendez looking for a guillotine. Lands a knee to the body. Low blow to Melendez. Short break. Alvarez claims center cage. Melendez lands a stiff jab. Alvarez kicking. Crowd getting frustrated. Leg kick to Gilbert. Alvarez gets a take down. Melendez fights to his feet. Alvarez lands a hard spinning elbow to end the round. 10-9 Alvarez to even it up.
Round 3: Alvarez shoots and forces a clinch. Has double unders and lifts Melendez up and gets him down. Melendez back up but still in clinch with his back to the cage. Melendez lands on the break. Alvarez shoots again. Gets stuffed. Alvarez lands a hard right overhand. Crowd booing. Alvarez lands a leg kick, eats a jab. Alvarez gets a single leg. Melendez fight back up. Alvarez forces a clinch against the cage. Gets Melendez down. Melendez cage walks back to his feet. They break. Both of Alvarez' eyes are swollen badly. More jabs from Melendez. Leg kick from Alvarez. Sharp exchanges. Pace picking up as the fight ends. Alvarez lands a spinning elbow. Melendez cut on his forehead. Huge punches exchanged at the end. Alvarez 10-9 for a 2-1 win on my card. Melendez let the fight slip away IMO but could be anyone's decision.
Official Result: Eddie Alvarez def. Gilbert Melendez via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29).
Round 1: They don't touch gloves. Cain walks in and quickly drops Werdum with an overhand right, might have been playing possum. Cain doesn't follow him down. Cain moves forward. Werdum puts him in a Thai plum. Cain moves in closer and breaks the lock. Werdum again drops down to his back. Cain in side control and stands back up. Werdum lands a jab. A right. Cain fires back again and again. Werdum gets a take down! Gets a knee when Cain stands up. Another. Cain pushes him against the cage. Inside leg kick from Werdum. Answered by Cain. Jab by Werdum and a right. This is a brutal fight. Cain landing leg kicks. Werdum misses a flying knee. Uppercuts from Cain. Right by Werdum. Werdum pushes Cain back against the cage. Cain breaks away. Front kick to the body. Nice punch combo by Werdum. Uppercut by Cain. Both men are battered. Very very hard to score. I'm going with Cain based on aggression. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 2: They get right back to business. Cain moving forward but both men landing hard shots. Werdum beginning to back Cain up. Cain with unchecked leg kicks. Uppercut by Werdum. Cain pushing forward again. Body kick by Werdum. A short sharp right. He hurts Velasquez! Werdum pushing forward. Grabs him by the neck and spins him around. Cain gets free. Lands a leg kick. Werdum finally checks one. Cain clearly slowing down. Werdum landing hard punches. Uppercut. Big knee up the middle. Cain wobbling. Werdum twisting his head with double collar ties. Another knee to Cain's midsection. Jab from Werdum. Cain eats a leg kick pushing forward behind punches but eats a hard right and a left. Werdum landing again and again. Cain is hurt. Werdum lands an uppercut and Cain falls but comes back up. Eats a knee. 10-9 Werdum. Amazing!
Round 3: Werdum landing early. Cain looks exhausted. Cain shoots in and almost gets rolled over. Cain lets him up. Werdum landing sharp jabs. Hard head kick by Cain. Werdum puts on a standing guillotine. Cain drops down to escape it. Eats a pair of knees. Cain firing but not much snap in his punches. Werdum drops for a guillotine and gets the submission! Fabricio Werdum is the new champion!
Official Result: Fabricio Werdum def. Cain Velasquez via submission (guillotine) at 2:13 of Round 3.
Velasquezspoke to Ariel Helwani before the bout: