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ufc 188

Interim UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum feels he is in the same mind-set as before his career-defining win over Fedor Emelianenko.

Werdum will unify the title with Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 in Mexico this June. He won the interim title with a finish of Mark Hunt last year after an injury knocked Velasquez out.

“When I beat Fedor, I had the same feeling,” said Werdum, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I’m very confident. I don’t think I’ll lose the fight. I’m going to win for sure.”

Werdum (19-5-1) is a perfect 5-0 since returning to the UFC in 2012, earning wins over Roy Nelson, Mike Russow, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Travis Browne and Hunt. His last loss came in 2011 to Alistair Overeem via decision after earning a first round submission of Emelianenko while both were in Strikeforce.

Ever the student, Werdum knows where the strengths of the UFC champion are, and he plans to test him there.

“I think Cain has good boxing, good wrestling and good conditioning,” Werdum said. “But if he takes me down, I say ‘thank you.’ I’m good. It’s my home.

“I think he’ll stay there; I’ll finish him.”

During the interview, Werdum heard from Daniel Cormier, who is a close friend and training partner for Velasquez at American Kickboxing Academy.

“The UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez, told me to tell you to stop carrying the belt everywhere,” Cormier said. “It’s making him mad. If you take it to the Florida media tour, he’s going to take it away from you.

“To be the man, you have to beat the man.”

Werdum laughed at the comments, saying “I love him” to Cormier.

“Five years ago, he helped me with a lot of training with wrestling,” he continued. “When we first met, I took him down. I took him down three times. He grabbed me in a double-leg and took me down and I got him in an armbar.”

ufc on fox 15

The UFC heads to New Jersey this Saturday night, returning to FOX for UFC on FOX 15.

In the main event, middleweight contenders Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold square off. Also, the co-main boasts fellow 170-pound contenders in Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Chris Camozzi after an injury knocked Yoel Romero out.

Max Holloway and Cub Swanson meet in a featherweight bout, while female strawweights Felice Herrig and Paige VanZant open the FOX main card at 8 p.m. ET after prelims, which also air on FOX and UFC Fight Pass.

Jim Miller vs. Beneil Dariush begin the FOX prelims at 6 p.m. ET after three bouts air on Fight Pass starting at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Below is the current lineup:

MAIN CARD (FOX/8 p.m. ET)

Middleweight: Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold

Middleweight: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Chris Camozzi

Featherweight: Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway

Female Strawweight: Paige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX/6 p.m. ET)

Lightweight: Jim Miller vs. Beneil Dariush

Light Heavyweight: Patrick Cummins vs. Ovince St. Preux

Light Heavyweight: Corey Anderson vs. Gian Villante

Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling vs. Takeya Mizugaki

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/4:30 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Tim Means vs. George Sullivan

Featherweight: Jimy Hettes vs. Diego Brandao

Middleweight: Eddie Gordon vs. Chris Dempsey

ufc on fox 15

Aljamain Sterling sees just another number by the name Takeya Mizugaki ahead of their bantamweight bout this Saturday night at UFC on FOX 15.

Sterling and Mizugaki will be open up the prelims on FOX from the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

Originally, Sterling (10-0) was going to fight veteran Manny Gamburyan at the card. However, when an injury knocked Gamburyan out, the sixth-ranked Mizugaki (20-8-2) agreed to step in.

When the 25-year-old former two-time Div. III All-American wrestler heard about the fight change, he didn’t sweat it, telling FightLine, “my thoughts were that the UFC was ready to introduce the ‘Funk’ to a bigger audience and show everyone what I can do.

“It’s just big in rankings, but that’s it. Just a change in a number. My team and I will be ready and no one will boo.”

Sterling admitted that he the only hesitation he felt in regards to accepting Mizugaki as a replacement in regards to promoting the bout, saying “I wanted to fight one more time to build momentum before a top-notch fight like this,” saying he feels that the bout is “not getting the press and push it deserves.

Since debuting in the UFC last year, Sterling has scored a decision over Cody Gibson and a third round TKO vs. Hugo Viana.

“I’m unranked so maybe that’s why (there’s been less talk),” he said. “Sometimes, opportunities come when we least expect it. It’s up to you to be ready.

“As (NFL superstar Marshawn) Lynch would say, ‘You know why I’m here!'”

Despite all that, being a native of the East Coast and with the chance to compete presented to him in front of family and friends, Sterling plans to “come alive in the night-time.

“When those lights go dim and the crowd roars for their fighters,” he said. “It’ll be energizing and motivating!”

ufc results

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 64 from Krakow, Poland.

The main card features a rematch between heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Cro Cop. Gonzaga won the first meeting, knocking out Cro Cop and moving directly into title contention.

Other main card bouts include Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz, Pawel Pawlak vs. Sheldon Westcott and Joanne Calderwood vs. Maryna Moroz.

Veterans Seth Baczynski, Sergio Moraes, Yaotzin Meza and Anthony Hamilton, along with the Octagon debut of Russian strawweight Aleksandra Albu, are among those set for the prelims.

Now, let’s get started!

PRELIMINARY CARD

Taylor Lapilus vs. Rocky Lee

We open up the card with a featherweight contest, as Taylor Lapilus (8-1) meets the unbeaten Rocky Lee (3-0), who was on The Ultimate Fighter: China.

Round 1: Lee immediately pushes forward, working for a takedown against the fence. Nice head control from him, but a low blow from Lapilus halts the action and separates the fighters. Lee, again, goes in for the takedown and he scores this time. Lapilus, though, grabs hold of the neck and has a potential guillotine choke. He’s landing knees while also holding the head, but Lee spins free. Lapilus picking him apart with his striking, taking advantage of his reach. He has Lee stuck again, but releases the choke and scores with a big knee. Lee is getting punished each time he comes in for a takedown, eating knees and elbow strikes. Lapilus feeling it, putting his hands up. He connected with a perfect knee and is landing lefts and rights.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lapilus

Round 2: Lapilus taking the fight to Lee now, grinding on him and using his the cage to his advantage. This isn’t going to end well for Lee if he can’t stop Lapilus from taking him down because he does not have the striking advantage. Lee’s nose is busted open, but he hits Lapilus with a solid kick to the body and is able to gain back the clinch.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lapilus

Round 3: Lapilus secures the Thai clinch and hammers off with knees, dragging Lee to the ground within the first minute of action. He continues peppering him with lefts and rights, but Lee survives and is back to his feet. Lapilus lands the jab and follows in, scoring a takedown as we approach the one-minute mark.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lapilus

Taylor Lapilus def. Rocky Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Marcin Bandel vs. Steven Ray

Scotland’s Steven Ray (16-5) will play the role of heel, taking on Poland’s own Marcin Bandel (13-3) in a lightweight contest.

Round 1: As expected, a huge ovation breaks out for Bandel. Body lock off a level change for Bandel, driving Ray to the fence. He gets a takedown, but Ray quickly pops back to his feet. Bandel pulls guard and tries for a leg-lock, but Ray is able to get to his feet. Ray has taken control, busting open the nose of Bandel. He looks for a potential arm-triangle choke, gaining better position and attempting to choke him out. Bandel will survive, as both men used the fence to gain an advantage multiple times.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Ray

Round 2: Bandel pulls guard and we go to the ground, but Ray takes advantage of the situation and is on the back. He’s got a modified rear-naked choke in without the hooks, but can’t lock it up. Something might have happened to Bandel, as he appeared to just fall over. Ray is attacking, unloading on him with several shots. Ray keeps it up and finally the referee steps in to call a stoppage.

Steven Ray def. Marcin Bandel via TKO (strikes) at 1:35 of Round 2

Aleksandra Albu vs. Izabela Badurek

We’ll have the first of two female strawweight bouts hit the Octagon with Russian Aleksandra Albu (5-0) facing Izabela Badurek (5-2). Both will be making their debuts with the UFC.

Round 1: No touch of gloves and Albu with the first strike, landing a quick right to the face that has started swelling on the face of Badurek. Another nasty shot and it’s quite evident Albu has the advantage on the feet. Huge left hook connects from the Russian. Badurek peppering her rock-solid abs with knees, looking for the inside trip. Finally, Albu gets free from the clinch. She tries for a trip takedown, but it’s Badurek who winds up on the back. Albu works to the feet and is back against the cage.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Albu

Round 2: Albu doing a much better job of not coming in wildly and getting caught in the clinch. She connects with a combination and they resort back to the clinch game. Good striking from Albu, but she gets taken down. On the way down, Albu locks up a guillotine and Badurek quickly taps out.

Aleksandra Albu def. Izabela Badurek via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:34 of Round 2

ufc fight night 64

The first time Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga stepped foot inside the Octagon together, Gonzaga left with a highlight-reel victory.

This Saturday, the two will meet once against at UFC Fight Night 64 from Poland on UFC Fight Pass.

In the video below, check out a replay of that first meeting. FightLine will have complete coverage of the main card, including Cro Cop vs. Gonzaga.

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