UFC 188 is set for this Saturday night live from Mexico City and will be headlined by a UFC Heavyweight Championship unification bout between current champion Cain Velasquez and interim champion Fabrício Werdum.
The bout was originally expected to take place at UFC 180. However, Velasquez pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury and the event was instead headlined by an interim title bout between Werdum and Mark Hunt in which Werdum crushed Hunt with a devastating second-round flying knee knockout of Mark Hunt back on November, 15, 2014 at UFC 180.
Werdum is a serious threat to take the title away from Velasquez. Werdum is 5–0 since returning to the UFC with impressive wins over Roy Nelson, Mike Russow, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Travis Browne and Mark Hunt. He is 19-15-1 and one of the few men on the planet who can claim a victory over the legendary Fedor Emelainenko.
He has one of the best Jiu-Jitsu games on the planet and will look to use it to topple his opponent. Cain Velasquez is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, but is coming from a long layoff due to multiple injuries. He reclaimed the title from Junior Dos Santos on December 29,2012 with a dominant win by decision.
Within a year, he made two successful title defense against Antonio Silva and beat Junior Dos Santos in the rubber match of their great trilogy. The last fight with Dos Santos was back on October 19, 2013. He has not fought since. The layoff has been 20 months. The last time he had a layoff of this length was when he beat Brock Lesnar for his first Heavyweight Championship, but then missed the next 13 months after shoulder surgery.
He was rusty upon his return and was knocked out by Dos Santos in 64 seconds. He will need to shake off the ring rust quicker this time against the dangerous and talented Werdum.
My official pick–If Cain wasn’t coming off such a long layoff, I would take him by knockout. However, Werdumn is tough and can grapple with the best of them. I’m taking him in a close decision to upset Velasquez on Saturday night.