As expected, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will headline the UFC’s debut in Mexico, defending his title against number 1 contender Fabricio Werdum. However, what was ‘special’ about the announcement made by the UFC today, is that the pair will also coach on the UFC’s inaugural The Ultimate Fighter season in Latin America, before squaring off at UFC 180 for the title in Mexico City on November 15.
Fabricio Werdum cemented his place as the number 1 contender for Velasquez’s heavyweight title by defeating highly respected striker Travis Browne earlier this month. This win took Werdum’s winning streak to four, with each win coming inside the Octagon after the Brazilian earned a 3-1 record in Strikeforce which included arguably the biggest upset win of all time against Fedor Emelianenko.
Werdum’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu is second-to-none, but his striking has grown leaps and bounds in recent fights, with ‘Vai Cavalo’ putting on a striking clinic against Travis Browne. Many felt Browne would hold the edge in both the striking and wrestling departments, but Werdum lit the American up on the feet, and mixed it up with trips and takedowns, dominating the highly touted fighter through all five rounds. Perhaps most impressive of all was how good Werdum’s cardio looked, and he proved to be more than worthy for a shot at the title, which is also – as always – scheduled for the full twenty five minutes.
In Cain Velasquez, however, Werdum faces the man widely renowned for his incredible cardio. Velasquez has gone to deep waters on more than one occasion and has hardly broken a sweat, which is something that rarely comes hand-in-hand with heavyweight fighting. After defeating Junior Dos Santos for a second time in their trilogy, Velasquez cemented his legacy as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, and will defend his strap for a third time against Werdum.
Velasquez has won his last four, with two wins over Bigfoot Silva and two over Junior Dos Santos – all being equally as dominant as the other. He will come into the fight with Werdum for the first time in over a year, but the champion proved in his UFC debut that a long layoff does not mean a lacklustre performance.
After coaching TUF: Latin America, which is scheduled to begin filming next month, Velasquez will defend his UFC heavyweight title against Werdum in the main event of UFC 180 on November 15 in Mexico City, Mexico. The TUF season will feature fighters from both the bantamweight and featherweight weight classes, and more details on the highly anticipated debut season will come within the next few weeks.