Fabricio Werdum became the UFC’s new undisputed heavyweight champion at UFC 188 tonight after he got the better of Cain Velasquez before finally tapping him out with a guillotine choke in the third round.
The main event of the evening is underway. Velasquez with a hard leg kick and Werdum fires back with punches. Velasquez lands a strike and Werdum slips to the mat, but he might be trying to lure him to the mat which the champion opts not to do so he stands.
Velasquez pushing the pace early and is into the clinch now and landing a few knees. They break apart. Velasquez is sporting a cut already. Still, he’s able to get an early takedown. Not much happening from this though and they soon stand.
Velasquez landing a series of leg kicks and then is into the clinch. Back to striking range. They exchange in close and Velasquez gets the better of it with a number of punches landing.
Velasquez into the clinch. Werdum suddenly gets a takedown, but Velasquez stand and eats a knee. Velasquez clinching again though.
Velasquez seperates. Werdum with a leg kick. Velasquez responds with punches. Uppercut from Werdum. They are exchanging in close with neither man giving an inch. Werdum mxing in some leg kicks.
Into the clinch and Velasquez lands a solid uppercut. Kick from Werdum and Velasquez dumps him to the mat. He decides not to be lured into Werdum’s guard.
Two punches land for Werdum. Velasquez responds with a punch of his own. Very high pace to this first round and it’ll be interesting to see how these two heavyweights cope cardio wise at this altitude as the fight continues.
Velasquez marches forward and lands a couple of hard leg kicks. Werdum with a good jab. He follows up with a few more punches. Velasquez with another leg kick. Werdum misses with a head kick attempt.
Three-piece combo lands from Velasquez. Another leg kick from him and again. Left hand clips Werdum. They exchange in close with Werdum getting a few light punches off.
Big uppercut from Werdum. Velasquez moving forward with a series of punches though. Both men landing, but not with a great deal of power.
A few leg kicks for Velasquez who’s face is smeared with his own blood. Werdum with a good knee. He comes forward and lands several good punches that snap the champion’s head back.
Werdum really finding a home for his punches. Velasquez still in there and he continues working, landing some good keg kicks in particular. He starts putting together a few punches and then a leg kick to finish.
Now it’s Werdum who’s firing back with punches of his own and a knee. A number of leg kicks from Velasquez. He looks tired though which isn’t something we’re used to seeing from him, particularly this early in a fight.
Leg kick for Werdum, but Velasquez snaps his head bck with a punch. Werdum tagging Velasquez with straight punches. Suddenly a big uppercut from Werdum drops Velasquez! He’s back up, but he’s been rocked and is wobbly there. Werdum continuing to pressure, but Velasquez survives to the end of the round. He looks to be in trouble at this stage in the fight though and there’s still a long way to go.
Leg kick for Velasquez and a punch in response from Werdum. Velasquez in on a takedown and he gets it, but almost gets rolled by Werdum.
Velasquez stands over Werdum and avoid a few upkicks. Werdum gets to his feet. He lands a good jab as the champion moves forward. Leg kick for Velasquez, jab for Werdum. Head kick out of nowhere from Velasquez and that spurs him on to press forward. Suddenly Werdum has a guillotine attempt.
Velasquez out of that one, but Werdum connects with a good knee. A few punches from Werdum and then they briefly clinch. Head kick attempt from Werdum misses.
Velasquez barrels into a takedown attempt, but Werdum wraps up the guillotine instantly on the way down and from there he’s got it in tight enough that it only takes a few seconds before Velasquez has to tap! Fantastic stuff from Werdum and he’s just become the new undisputed heavyweight champion of the world!
Big upset win for Werdum – not for the first time in his career – and while his submission prowess is well known he also did well tonight with his striking and cardio too.
As for Velasquez, he never quite looked himself out there and you have to wonder how much of an effect the combination of a very long injury lay-off together with a lack of training at altitude had on his performance tonight.