Tonight, the heavyweight title will leave with just one man, as Cain Velasquez takes on Fabricio Werdum in the main event of UFC 188.
FightLine will have coverage of the event later this evening, but for now, check out the media notes to get prepared for the card:
THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE
When two heavyweight champions clash south of the border, only one will leave with his title reign still intact. Cain Velasquez has held the title for the better part of the last five years. It’s been his dream to fight in Mexico to show Mexican pride as a first generation American, both his parents were born in Mexico.
After a series of injuries prevented him from competing on the first UFC card in Mexico, challenger Fabricio Werdum earned the title of interim champ. The Brazilian was embraced by the Mexican fans in his last foray on their soil and undefeated in his last four bouts dating back to February 2012; he’ll look to use that momentum to derail Velasquez who, when healthy, is one of the most dominant forces in the sport and one of the most successful heavyweights in UFC history.
TIME TO SETTLE THE SCORE
Long considered to be the best lightweights in the world outside of the UFC, Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez have been on a collision course since before either man signed with the UFC. With both fighters holding belts outside the promotion, the feud has only escalated since the signing of Alvarez in 2014. Now, the score will be settled when No. 4 Melendez meets ninth-ranked Alvarez in the co-main event in Mexico. With both men looking to rebound from a loss, the stakes are high as they look to climb back up the stacked lightweight ladder.
NEW DIVISION, NEW RESULT
Former welterweight contenders Kelvin Gastelum and Nate Marquardt will move up to middleweight in hopes of getting back in the win column. Both fighters have struggled at 170-pounds – Gastelum’s battles have primarily been with the scale, while Marquardt has gone 1-3 since returning to the UFC in the division. With their eyes set on the middleweight rankings, both men will have a fresh start, in a new division and look to prove they’re a threat at 185-pounds as well.
HECHO EN MEXICO
A number of fighters on the card will be getting in touch with their Mexican heritage, including one participant in each of the top-three fights on the card. For Mexican-American fighters Cain Velasquez and Gilbert Melendez, it’ll be the first time fighting in Mexico while Kelvin Gastelum fought on the UFC’s debut card in the country. Additionally, Yair Rodriguez, Efrain Escudero, Alejandro Perez, Francisco Trevino, Dodger Montano and Gabriel Benitez were all born in Mexico.