Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC 188.

Tonight’s card comes to us from the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico.

In the main event, Cain Velasquez defends his heavyweight title against interim champion Fabricio Werdum. These two were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 180, but a knee injury forced Velasquez out. Werdum went on to win the title in a bout vs. Mark Hunt.

Along with the much-awaited heavyweight scrap, lightweights champions from Bellator, Eddie Alvarez, and Strikeforce, Gilbert Melendez, collide. Also, Kelvin Gastelum takes on Nate Marquardt, Yair Rodriguez battles Charles Rosa and Tecia Torres kicks off the pay-per-view main card vs. Angela Hill.

On the FX prelims, Henry Cejudo will try to work his way closer to a flyweight title fight when he meets Chico Camus. The rest of the card includes Efrain Escudero-Drew Dober, Alejandro Perez-Patrick Williams and Johnny Case-Francisco Trevino.

Augusto Montano-Cathal Pendred and Gabriel Benitez-Clay Collard compete on UFC Fight Pass to begin the night.

All the action starts at 7 p.m. ET online before shifting over to FX at 8 p.m. ET and pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.


Clay Collard vs. Gabriel Benitez

We begin the night with a featherweight scrap, as Clay Collard (14-5) takes on Gabriel Benitez (17-4).

Round 1: Very hot crowd, as they gave an incredible ovation for Benitez. Right off the bat, Benitez lands and floors Collard. He follows up with a kick to the body that did damage. Very strong start for Benitez, who again floors him with a low kick, followed by a shot to the body. Collard doing a nice job of getting back into this one, mixing his strikes. Straight left from Benitez is followed by a kick to the body that has left bruising on Collard. He answers back, but a low blow halts the action. Collard was all over Benitez, but the ref noticed the shot to the groin. Benitez has the guillotine locked up, jumping into the guard of Collard with it and pulling down. However, he’s unable to secure it and Collard gets out. He immediately takes the back and has his hooks in now with two minutes to go. He’s working hard to get one arm under and he gets it, clasping the hands together for a brief moment. Benitez escapes off his back and lands a nasty elbow to the face, followed by a couple more. Picture-perfect suplex by Collard and the round comes to an end.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Benitez

Round 2: Benitez mixing and changing levels and strikes, as he has an incredible speed advantage over Collard. Inside leg kick again sweeps Collard off his feet, but he did land a right hand. Off another inside leg kick, Collard catches and scores with a takedown. He lands a knee but that is it and Benitez is back up. Another body kick hurts Collard, but he is able to survive and score a takedown. Benitez landed with something as he was getting taken down and Collard appears injured. He’s struggling to move, but looks to keep going. Nice right, but Collard is needing to protect himself. A couple more shots to the body and this one might be over.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Benitez

Round 3: Collard is even slower now to start this final round than he has been in the entire fight. Another kick to the body was caught, but Benitez still went through with it. Collard is hanging on for dear life and Benitez takes his back before gaining a better position for ground-and-pound. Collard gets up slow and has no bounce in his step at all. He’s still trying to push forward as much as possible, but he has no energy left. Takedown for Collard with less than two minutes to go. Collard gained control, taking the back, but he was unable to secure the submission.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Benitez

Gabriel Benitez def. Clay Collard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Augusto Montano vs. Cathal Pendred

We’ll conclude the early prelims with welterweights, as Augusto Montano (14-1) goes one-on-one against Ireland’s Cathal Pendred (16-2-1).

Round 1: For the second straight fight, another loud ovation from the pro-Mexican crowd, as Montano fights out of Mexico City. Pendred takes the center and is stalking Montano. Stiff side kick from Montano, as Pendred answers and shoots for a takedown. He’s in very deep on it, but excellent takedown defense by Montano. A much more relaxed and calm Montano, as the owner of 13 first round finishes has yet to really engage. Pendred looking a little frustrated by all this, as he goes in hard after Montano slips. Pendred is just standing in the middle with his hands out, asking for Montano to come out. Flying knee, followed by another knee that is caught by Pendred.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Pendred

Round 2: Before the start of the round, referee Herb Dean warned Montano that he needs to engage or else he’ll take points away. The Mexican crowd was all over Montano with boos after the opening round. Big right hand, and another, by Montano. Pendred eats them both and goes for a takedown against the fence. He finally scores with the takedown and is looking to better his position with three minutes to go. Great job of working to his feet and avoiding punishment for Montano, but he gets dragged back down a second time. He’s got a modified front-choke and has a chance, but Montano pops out.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Pendred

Round 3: Good right for Montano connects, and it seems to have forced Pendred to back up a bit. He’s scoring with knees and kicks, but the size of Pendred is just too much. He’s leaning on Montano and forcing him to carry his weight. Montano working a possible kimura, but he slips free and is out. Nice flurry by Montano, but that’s it.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Montano

Cathal Pendred def. Augusto Montano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Johnny Case vs. Francisco Trevino

We’ll begin the FX prelims with a lightweight affair pitting Johnny “Hollywood” Case (15-4) against Francisco Trevino (12-0). This fight was originally scheduled for last year, but an injury forced Trevino out.

Round 1: Trevino was all over the cage before the bout, almost getting right into the corner of Case. Quick start by Case, mixing up his strikes and keeping him off balance. Case catches a kick and unloads, but Trevino just waves him on. Nice right to the chin by the Iowan, followed by another, and Trevino just casually walks away. Exchange of kicks and Case comes back with several shots to the body. Trevino catches Case with an eye poke and he is in pain. Case immediately runs to the other side and falls to the ground. The left eye is nearly closed shut, but Case is going to continue. He scores immediately with a takedown, looking to try and get back to 20/20 vision.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Case

Round 2: The time between rounds helped open the eye of Case. It’s still very red, but he doesn’t appear to have any trouble with it. He’s cut the Octagon off and is striking well with Trevino, continuing to get the better of each and every exchange. Takedown as we head under four minutes in the round by Case. Trevino gives up his back, but Case loses control of an arm for a brief moment. He’s able to get that free and locks in both hooks, taking the back with two-plus minutes to go in the round. Trevino gets out of that and winds up back on top. Case has a guillotine in for a brief moment and Trevino winds up in side control. Hard leg kick and a takedown for Case, who shifts to the back and unloads with right hands.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Case

Round 3: Case the aggressor here to start, coming out after Trevino. a fourth successful takedown for Case halfway through this round and he’s in a great position to claim the fight if it stays here. Trevino, though, is working for a submission, possibly a kimura. Case protects and advances, landing from the top. Trevuno is out and up, looking to score with his own takedown. He’s got just 20 seconds left to do something, as thye finish on the feet. Case told the camera after the fight that he couldn’t see and “won the fight with one eye.”

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Case

Johnny Case def. Francisco Trevino via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)