MMA fans, Cain Velasquez is back! In the headliner for the UFC’s second trip to Mexico, the “baddest man on the plant” will return to the octagon after a 20-month absence, putting his Heavyweight title on the line, as he takes on interim titleholder Fabricio Werdum. It is one of the few fights on the card that is truly worth checking out, as well as an epic co-main event between former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez and Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez. That fight has been a long time in the making, will be a surefire banger, and has all the makings of a Fight of the Year candidate.
Aside from that fight, no other fight is PPV worthy. Sure, the main card opener between Tecia Torres and Angela Hill should be fun, but it’s hard to make the claim that the fight is worth paying for. Alas, here’s my main card picks.
Main card (10/9c, PPV)
(5) Tecia Torres (5-0) vs. Angela Hill (2-0)
The first fight of the pay-per-view portion of the card may be a fun Women’s Strawweight battle, but it’s incredibly predictable. Torres is the better fighter, through and through. She’s more experienced, has better striking, and is better on the ground. She also boasts black belts in both Karate and Taekwondo, and always wins via decision. Hill has a lot of potential, but this fight’s result is clear as can be. Prediction: Torres via unanimous decision.
Yair Rodriguez (5-0) vs. Charles Rosa (10-1)
The next fight, simply put, should not be on PPV. That said, Rosa is a finisher who tends to finish fights early, with seven of them coming via submission. Rodriguez, meanwhile, was the TUF: Latin America Featherweight winner. That said, I believe Rosa is better, and will get the submission before the second round is complete. Prediction: Rosa via submission, round 2.
Kelvin Gastelum (10-1) vs. Nate Marquardt (33-13-2)
Speaking of fights that should to be on pay-per-view, this fight definitely fits that bill. Gastelum may be the winner of one of the greatest TUF seasons ever, but he’s only fighting at Middleweight because he struggles to make weight. His opponent, Nate Marquardt, should not be in the UFC. He’s lost three of four, is a cheater, and is well past his prime. I’m not very high on Gastelum, but he should, and likely will win this fight. Prediction: Gastelum via unanimous decision.
(3) Gilbert Melendez (22-4) vs. (8) Eddie Alvarez (25-4)
Finally a fight worthy of being on a pay-per-view! SImply put, it is a dream fight several years in the making. Both men have been calling each other out for years, when they ran the divisions of the UFC’s rival promotions. Back then, Alvarez was the first star in Bellator’s history, eventually becoming the promotion’s first ever Lightweight Champion. Meanwhile, Melendez won the WEC title in just his fourth professional fight, and became the Strikeforce champion in 2006. He lost the title in 2008 to Josh Thomson, but won the title back in his next bout, holding the title for the remainder of Strikeforce’s existence.
Meanwhile, during the two men’s reigns, there was no love lost between them. They were often asked about fighting each other, and bad blood had risen amongst them. Now, they are both in the UFC, and a fight between them makes more sense than ever.
They are both entertaining, and have participated in various entertaining bouts. This fight will likely be great, and anyone can win. I guess I’ll pick Alvarez. I don’t know. Head/Gut pick: Melendez. Heart pick: Alvarez.
UFC Heavyweight Championship
(C) Cain Velazquez (13-1) vs. (ic) Fabricio Werdum (19-5-1)
The wait is finally over! After a while in the waits, these two men will finally fight. Both men are incredibly skilled, and are worthy of being regarded as “the baddest man in the planet.”
Cain Velasquez, simply put, is a cardio machine. He fights in a phone booth, never stops fighting, and can knock anyone out. He did it to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and has bested Junior dos Santos on multiple occasions. He has knocked out eleven of his opponents, and his entire career has been full of dominance.
That said, if anyone can defeat Cain, it might be Werdum. The Brazilian is amongst the greatest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in MMA, possessing a second degree black belt in the discipline, as well as black belts in Judo and Muai Thai. He has won several Jiu Jitsu gold medals, and various other medals. And, since being unfairly cut by the UFC following his loss to Junior dos Santos in 2008, he has gone 8-1, with the lone loss being a decision to Alistair Overeem.
In his eight wins since falling to JDS, “Vai Cavalo” has begun to become a legend. He has bested Roy Nelson, Bigfoot Silva and others. He knocked the seemingly indestructible Mark Hunt via flying knee, and also submitted Big Nog. Oh, and he also tapped out the greatest Heavyweight of all time, Fedor Emelianenko. Simply put, he is worthy of this position, and a win could make him one of the top two, if not the greatest Heavyweight in MMA history.
As for the fight itself, anything can happen. Velasquez has been out for nearly two years, and may be extremely rusty. Also, Werdum is very easy to root for. This calls for a split pick. Heart pick: Werdum. Head pick: Velesquez.