MEXICO CITY — For the second time in 5 years, Fabricio Werdum has submitted the most effective heavyweight in the world.
Werdum (20-5-1) shocked Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 on Saturday night, submitting the two-time UFC heavyweight champion at 2:13 of the third round by way of guillotine choke at the Mexico City Arena.
The victory comes virtually exactly 5 years immediately after Werdum earned a beautiful upset against all-time heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko beneath the Strikeforce banner in 2010. Each Emelianenko and Velasquez have been broadly regarded the most effective heavyweights in the globe at the time of their respective losses.
With the win, Werdum unifies the UFC’s heavyweight titles and becomes the promotion’s undisputed champion. He claimed an interim title by knocking out Mark Hunt at UFC 180 in November.
“I was [in Mexico] for 34 days,” Werdum said. “Adjusting to the altitude is pretty hard. I had a very good tactic. I just have a large dream and I got it these days.”
Velasquez (13-two), whose parents are Mexican, apologized for the overall performance. It was his initially appearance because October 2013 due to a knee injury. The 602-day layoff was the longest of his profession.
“Sorry to everyone right here,” Velasquez said. “It was my dream to fight here and win in front of every person. I didn’t do it tonight and I am sorry. I will be back far more motivated and win that belt once again.”
The finish started with a double leg takedown try by Velasquez in the center of the Octagon. The ordinarily dominant Velasquez was beat up at that point, having said that, immediately after absorbing 103 total strikes on the feet, according to Fightmetric. Werdum fell to his butt and promptly caught Velasquez in the choke, which he eventually tapped to. It is the seventh submission win of Werdum’s profession.
The real story of the fight was not Velasquez’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but his massively improved striking. He stood up to Velasquez’s stress all through the contest, consistently scoring with the jab. He opened a reduce close to Velasquez’s left eye early in the first round and dropped him with a knee to the chin in the second.
The higher pace of the bout, ordinarily a benefactor for Velasquez, clearly favored Werdum. Afterward, Velasquez, who trains in San Jose, admitted he may well not have acclimated to the altitude in time.
“Two weeks, I was out here training for this fight,” Velasquez stated. “I guess it wasn’t sufficient.”
As opposed to the Emelianenko win, which lasted only 69 seconds, this was a grueling victory for Werdum. Velasquez lit him up with proper hands throughout a number of exchanges and even dropped him moments into the fight, although it appeared Werdum mostly fell off-balance and wasn’t in danger of going out. Velasquez scored a number of takedowns in the initial two rounds, but largely stayed away from Werdum’s guard. He followed him to the floor once for a short spell in the third round, but Werdum avoided taking damage and got back to his feet.
The Thai clinch, as it has been in so lots of of his fights, was one of Werdum’s better weapons. He hurt Velasquez many instances with knees and came close to finishing him with strikes late in the second round.