Finally, after many, many months, Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum settled the score inside the Octagon Saturday night at UFC 188.
Werdum, who became the first fighter to submit Fedor Emelianenko several years ago, added Velasquez to his resume with a third round stoppage win to become the undisputed heavyweight champion. The Brazilian dominated for most of the fight, landing several bone-crunching shots in earning his sixth consecutive win.
In the night’s co-main event, former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and ex-Bellator titleholder Eddie Alvarez finally collided. Alvarez suffered what was likely a broken nose early, which led to major swelling on his left eye, but he was still awarded a split-decision for his initial Octagon victory.
Former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum was forced by officials to return to middleweight, and he took his punishment and gave it out to Nate Marquardt. Gastelum nearly finished the former Strikeforce champion in the second before Marquardt threw in the towel himself before the third.
In a back-and-forth featherweight contest, former Ultimate Fighter: Latin America winner Yair Rodriguez claimed a split decision over Charles Rosa. Rodriguez used all of his skills to withstand a late effort by Rosa to upset the hometown fighter.
Female strawweights Tecia Torres and Angela Hill opened the main card, as the unbeaten fighters fought to a decision. While the crowd wasn’t overly impressed, Torres did enough to remain perfect and stay near the top of the division.
Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo finished off the prelims with a hard-fought decision victory over Chico Camus. Making his second Octagon appearance at flyweight, the unbeaten Cejudo was effective with his striking in besting the veteran.
Efrain Escudero delighted the quiet Mexican crowd on the prelims, taking advantage of a slip by Drew Dober and securing a submission win. Escudero, a former Ultimate Fighter alum, locked up a standing guillotine and didn’t release until Dober – also a former TUF fighter – was forced to tap.
Patrick Williams finally stopped the early run of decisions, earning the quickest bantamweight submission in UFC/WEC history when he choked out Alejandro Perez. Johnny Case remained unbeaten inside the Octagon, handing Francisco Trevino his first pro loss with a decision.
It wasn’t a perfect start for Mexican fighters, as Ireland’s Cathal Pendred downed Augusto Montano via decision. Gabriel Benitez, though, started the night off well for the home country with a decision vs. Clay Collard.
The “Fight of the Night” went to Rosa and Rodriguez, while Werdum and Williams each earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses. All four picked up an additional $50,000.
Officials announced the attendance at 21,036, but did not reveal the live gate number.
Complete results can be found below:
Fabricio Werdum def. Cain Velasquez via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:13 of Round 3 to become the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion
Eddie Alvarez def. Gilbert Melendez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Kelvin Gastelum def. Nate Marquardt via TKO (corner stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2
Yair Rodriguez def. Charles Rosa via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tecia Torres def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Henry Cejudo def. Chico Camus via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Efrain Escudero def. Drew Dober via submission (guillotine choke) at :54 of Round 1
Patrick Williams def. Alejandro Perez via technical submission (guillotine choke) at : 23 of Round 1
Johnny Case def. Francisco Trevino via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Cathal Pendred def. Augusto Montano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gabriel Benitez def. Clay Collard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)