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ufc 188

Finally, we will see Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum settle things inside the Octagon this Saturday night at UFC 188.

Velasquez and Werdum will meet for the unified heavyweight title from Mexico City and the Arena Ciudad de Mexico, as FightLine provides live coverage.

The card is pretty solid from top-to-bottom, as officials loaded it up with Mexican fighters to get the crowd into a frenzy.

Along with Velasquez-Werdum, here’s a look at the key bouts set to go down:

Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum

It will be just short of two years since the last time we saw Velasquez inside the Octagon, as he finished Junior dos Santos in late 2013. Now, fully recovered from knee issues, the heavyweight champion wants to silence Werdum.

Typically, Velasquez enters the cage as a stoic figure, not showing much emotion. But, in the days leading up to the contest, his teammates have mentioned seeing a different side of the former Arizona State University wrestler.

While time away from active competition typically hurts people, Velasquez has been sidelined for extended periods throughout his career. Also, he trains and spars constantly with the likes of Daniel Cormier and Luke Rockhold, so timing should not be an issue.

The issue will be Werdum, who has been a man on a mission since coming over from Strikeforce. He’s beat Mark Hunt, Travis Browne, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Roy Nelson since a 2011 loss to Alistair Overeem.

Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez

For several years, Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez were two of the top fighters not competing in the UFC. Now, they are together and ready to settle things inside the Octagon.

Melendez is a former Strikeforce champion and two-time UFC title contender who has gone 1-2 since joining the promotion. He lost to Anthony Pettis last December via submission.

Alvarez held the Bellator lightweight title before coming off, losing to Donald Cerrone in September.

The winner here should move back into contention in the stacked 155-pound division, while the loser will fall several pegs down.

Chico Camus vs. Henry Cejudo

Many feel Henry Cejudo is the next man to challenge Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title. First, though, he must get through Chico Camus.

Cejudo is a former U.S. Olympic gold medalist who is unbeaten and has scored back-to-back wins since signing with the UFC. Camus has fought many of the second-tier fighters, going 3-2 with a no-contest over the past three years.

Whether or not Cejudo is ready to face “Mighty Mouse,” we should learn a little more about him after this weekend.

Jon Jones

Mike Winkeljohn has worked closely with former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones over the years, helping to hone the skills and talents of “Bones” in New Mexico.

While Jones’ return to the Octagon remains up in the air as he continues to prepare for a legal battle over an alleged hit-and-run incident, Winkeljohn informed Submission Radio recently that he has seen the right steps towards redemption from the fighter.

“He was in the gym helping Andrei Arlovski for his fight, he’s in the gym helping others right now,” Winkeljohn said. “He’s gone back to help others, stop doing those things that get you in trouble and go forward.

“He knows what we expect out of him. I expect him just to continue doing what he’s doing and that’s care care of himself, do the right thing, take care of his family and he is. I’m real happy on what he’s been doing so far.”

Earlier this year, Jones struck another vehicle in a New Mexico accident. The other driver, a pregnant woman, was taken to the hospital for further examination. After a short time, Jones turned himself into Albuquerque police for questioning before being charged, booked and released.

He’s still set to face a future court date revolving around the charges, but no time frame has been laid out for that.

“I’m looking forward to Jon turning his life around and becoming a better person,” the coach said. “If he fights again or not, I’m not sure.”

ufc 188

If you missed “Countdown to UFC 188,” we have you covered.

Check out both parts to the pre-event hype show in the videos below.

The first goes inside the training and lives of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and interim champion Fabricio Werdum, while the second spotlights the co-main between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez.

Both of those bouts take place this Saturday night at UFC 188, and FightLine will have complete coverage of all the action.

ufc 188

The heavyweight world will take center stage at UFC 188 this Saturday night, as Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum finally meet.

Velasquez and Werdum each will carry a title belt to the ring, as Werdum won the interim title last year when Velasquez was injured and forced out of a bout. The card will take place from Mexico City, Mexico, with bouts airing on pay-per-view, FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Along with the much-talked-about heavyweight battle, former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez meets ex-Bellator 155-pound titleholder Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event. Also, Kelvin Gastelum takes on Nate Marquardt at middleweight, Yair Rodriguez faces Charles Rosa at featherweight and strawweights Tecia Torres and Angela Hill kick things off.

On the FX prelims, former Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo tries to stake his claim to a flyweight title shot when he meets Chico Camus. The prelims also include Efrain Escudero vs. Drew Dober, Alejandro Perez vs. Patrick Williams, Johnny Case vs. Frank Trevino, Augusto Montano vs. Cathal Pendred, Clay Collard vs. Gabriel Benitez and Andrew Todhunter debuting vs. Albert Tumenov.

As always, FightLine will be providing free and live play-by-play of all the action.

Check out the complete lineup, along with an extended video preview, below:

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

Unified UFC Heavyweight Championship
Cain Velasquez (c) vs. Fabricio Werdum (ic)

Lightweight: Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez

Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nate Marquardt

Featherweight: Yair Rodriguez vs. Charles Rosa

Female Strawweight: Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill


Flyweight: Henry Cejudo vs. Chico Camus

Lightweight: Efrain Escudero vs. Drew Dober

Bantamweight: Alejandro Perez vs. Patrick Williams

Lightweight: Johnny Case vs. Frank Trevino

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Augusto Montano vs. Cathal Pendred

Featherweight: Clay Collard vs. Gabriel Benitez

Welterweight: Andrew Todhunter vs. Albert Tumenov

ufc fight night 68

The Octagon touched down in New Orleans Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 68 and finishes were in strong demand.

It wasn’t the quickest of the 10 finishes, but it might have been the most meaningful, as Dan Henderson knocked out Tim Boetsch in 28 seconds. The former Pride and Strikeforce champion caught Boetsch with a right hand, adding an uppercut and a flurry to earn his 31st career victory.

Henderson stated he had no plans to retire whether he was a winner or loser, but earning his 15th career victory via knockout makes it much easier to continue competing inside the Octagon.

Heavyweights went toe-to-toe for just under two minutes in the co-main event before Ben Rothwell locked up a choke on Matt Mitrione. Rothwell quickly got the tap, and left Jon Anik almost speechless with his post-fight interview in which he stated only “politics” can keep him from the UFC title.

Dustin Poirier gave the Bayou faithful a huge reason to cheer, keeping the string of finishes going with an incredible TKO over Yancy Medeiros in the first round. Poirier, a native of Louisiana, improved to 2-0 inside the Octagon since moving up to 155 pounds.

Brian Ortega and Thiago Tavares appeared to be headed for a tough decision when the former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion landed with a clean shot. Ortega followed up and earned a third round TKO, returning from a suspension for a failed drug test.

In a bout 10-months in the making, Anthony Birchak knocked former Bellator champion Joe Soto out cold in the opening round. The two were expected to fight last year, but UFC officials moved Soto into a title fight opposite T.J. Dillashaw after Renan Barao was forced out on weigh-in day.

Francisco Rivera earned his first win since 2013 when he floored Alex Caceres to start the main card in just 21 seconds. He connected with the left, dropping Caceres and earning his 11th career victory in the process – including his seventh finish.

Louisiana’s own Shawn Jordan earned his second win over Derrick Lewis in the prelim main fight, as the heavyweight scored a finish inside of the first minute of round two. Several years ago, Jordan – a former LSU college football standout – earned a decision over Lewis.

Omari Akhmedov scored a TKO over Brian Ebersole after injuring the leg of Ebersole through the first round. Chris Wade used his wrestling to control Christos Giagos and improve to 10-1 with a decision victory.

Joe Proctor made history, scoring the latest three-round lightweight finish when he submitted Justin Edwards at the 4:58 mark of the third. Proctor and Edwards were close heading to the final round, but Proctor locked up a tight guillotine.

Jose Quinonez kicked off the Fight Pass prelims with a picture-perfect submission, easily taking Leonardo Morales down and locking up a rear-naked choke inside the first round. Also, Jake Collier made his three boys at home brought, pulling out a split decision over Ricardo Abreu.

The “Fight of the Night” went to Ortega and Tavares, while Poirier and Jordan each picked up “Performance of the Night” bonuses. The attendance inside the Smoothie King Center was announced at 6,231 for a live gate of $621,523.

Complete results can be found below:

Dan Henderson def. Tim Boetsch via KO (strikes) at :28 of Round 1

Ben Rothwell def. Matt Mitirone via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:54 of Round 1

Dustin Poirier def. Yancy Medeiros via TKO (strikes) at 2:38 of Round 1

Brian Ortega def. Thiago Tavares via TKO (strikes) at 4:10 of Round 3

Anthony Birchak def. Joe Soto via KO (strikes) at 1:37 of Round 1

Francisco Rivera def. Alex Caceres via KO (strikes) at :21 of Round 1

Shawn Jordan def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (strikes) at :48 of Round 2

Omari Akhmedov def. Brian Ebersole via TKO (injury) at 5:00 of Round 1

Chris Wade def. Christos Giagos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Joe Proctor def. Justin Edwards via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:58 of Round 3

Jake Collier def. Ricardo Abreu via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jose Quinonez def. Leonardo Morales via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:34 of Round 1

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