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UFC 188 preview and predictions

UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum takes place this Saturday, June 13, 2015 at the Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City, Mexico.

The main event will be a classic heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum. The co-main event will be a lightweight bout between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez.

There will be three preliminary bouts airing on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30p.m.EST then fights will air on FX at 7:00pm.EST with four bouts. The main card airs on pay-per-view at 9:00p.m.EST with five bouts including a female strawweight bout – Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill, a featherweight bout – Yair Rodriguez vs. Charles Rosa and a middleweight bout – Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nate Marquardt.

We’ll have live play-by-play coverage of this event this Saturday night.

Onto the picks!

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Hector Urbina vs. Albert Tumenov

Prediction: Albert Tumenov by first-round KO.

Featherweight: Clay Collard vs. Gabriel Benitez

Prediction: Clay Collard by first-round KO.

Welterweight: Augusto Montano vs. Cathal Pendred

Prediction: Augusto Montano by third-round KO.

 

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX/8 p.m. ET)

 

Lightweight: Johnny Case vs. Frank Trevino

Prediction: Johnny Case by unanimous decision.

Bantamweight: Alejandro Perez vs. Patrick Williams

Prediction: Patrick Williams by unanimous decision.

Lightweight: Efrain Escudero vs. Drew Dober

Prediction: Efrain Escudero by unanimous decision.

Flyweight: Henry Cejudo vs. Chico Camus

Prediction: Henry Cejudo by unanimous decision.

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

Female Strawweight: #5 Tecia Torres vs. #15 Angela Hill

#5 Tecia Torres (5-0) 0 KOs, 0 submissions, 5 decision wins in his career and is currently on a five-fight winning streak. She’s undefeated in her pro MMA career. She fought in the Invicta FC promotion for her first four bouts. She beat Kaiyana Rain in October of 2012 by unanimous decision, then over Paige VanZant in January of 2013 by unanimous decision and the beat Rose Namajunas in July of 2013 by unanimous decision. She left Invicta FC after her win over Felice Herrig by unanimous decision to join the UFC and beat Angela Magana in December of 2013 by unanimous decision at the TUF 20 Finale.

#15 Angela Hill (2-0) 1 KOs, 0 submissions, 1 decision wins in his career and is currently on a two-fight winning streak. She’s undefeated in her pro MMA career. She knocked out Stephanie Skinner in April of 2014 of the second-round and then made her UFC debut through TUF, which she won her UFC debut over Emily Kagan by unanimous decision.

Prediction: Tecia Torres by unanimous decision.

Featherweight: Yair Rodriguez vs. Charles Rosa

Yair Rodriguez (4-1) 1 KOs, 1 submissions, 2 decision wins in his career and is currently on a two-fight winning streak. In his last five bouts, he beat Jonathan Guzman in October of 2011 in his pro MMA debut by unanimous decision then submitted Carlos Ricardo in March of 2012 by first-round triangle choke. He was knocked out in 1:21 in December of 212 by Luis Roberto Herrera. He rebounded with a two-fight winning streak with wins over Edgar Juarez in February of 2013 by first-round flying knee and then he made his UFC debut at UFC 180, which he beat Leonardo Morales by unanimous decision.

Charles Rosa (10-1) 3 KOs, 7 submissions, 0 decision wins in his career and is currently on a one-fight winning streak. In his last five bouts, he’s 4-1. He beat Keith Richardson in February of 2014 by second-round TKO, a first-round armbar win over Brylan Van Artsdalen in March of 2014 and then did the same thing to Jake Constant in August of 2014. He then made his UFC debut against Dennis Siver in October of 2014, which he lost by unanimous decision, but rebounded with a third-round brabo choke over Sean Soriano in January of 2015.

Prediction: Charles Rosa by third-round submission.

Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nate Marquardt

Kelvin Gastelum (10-1) 3 KOs, 4 submissions, 3 decision wins in his career and is currently on a one-fight losing streak. He’s been a pro since 2010, he appeared the 17th season of the Ultimate Fighter and has five first-round finishes in his career. In his last five bouts, he’s 4-1. He beat Brian Melancon in August of 2013 by first-round rear-naked choke, then beat Rick Story at UFC 171 by split decision and then Nicholas Musoke in June of 2014 by unanimous decision. He stepped up his game against competition when he fought and beat Jake Ellenberger by first-round rear-naked choke at UFC 180. He then lost to Tyron Woodley at UFC 183 by split decision.

Nate Marquardt (33-14) 9 KOs, 16 submissions, 8 decision wins in his career and is currently on a one-fight losing streak. He’s been a pro since he was nineteen and has won his last seven of thirteen. In his last five bouts, he’s 1-4. He lost to Tarec Saffiedine in January of 2013 by unanimous decision under the Strikeforce banner. He went back to the UFC in March of 2013 at UFC 158, which he lost by first-round knockout to Jake Ellenberger. He lost to Hector Lombard at UFC 166 by first-round knockout, but then showed some life with a win over James Te Huna in June of 2014 by first-round armbar, but then lost to BRad Tavares at UFC 182 by unanimous decision.

Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision.

Lightweight: #4 Gilbert Melendez vs. #9 Eddie Alvarez

No. 4 Gilbert Melendez (22-4) 11 KOs, 1 submissions,10 decision wins in his career and is currently on a one-fight losing streak. He’s been a pro since 2002 and in his last five bouts, he’s 3-2. He beat Jorge Masvidal in December of 2011 by unanimous decision and then Josh Thomson in May of 2012 by split decision. Both fights came under the Strikeforce banner. He joined the UFC in April of 2013 when he lost to Benson Henderson by split decision, but rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, but then lost to Anthony Pettis at UFC 181 by second-round guillotine choke.

No. 9 Eddie Alvarez (25-4) 14 KOs, 7 submissions, 4 decision wins in his career and is currently on a one-fight losing streak. He’s been a pro since 2003, he has 13 first-round finishes and has won 10 of his last 12 and in his last five bouts, he’s 3-2. He lost to Michael Chandler in November of 2011 by fourth-round rear-naked choke, but rebounded with a three fight winning streak. Those wins were over Shinya Aoki in April of 2012 by first-round TKO, a first-round knockout of Patricky Freire in October of 2012 and then a split decision win over Michael Chandler in November of 2013. All of those fights were under the Bellator MMA banner. He joined the UFC in September of 2014, but lost his debut fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178 by unanimous decision.

Prediction: Eddie Alvarez by split decision.

Unified UFC Heavyweight Championship: Cain Velasquez (c) vs. Fabricio Werdum (ic)

Cain Velasquez (13-1) 11 KOs, 0 submissions, 2 decision wins in his career and is currently on a four-fight winning streak. UFC 188 will be third title defense as heavyweight champion. He’s a two-title heavyweight champion while being in the sport of MMA since 2006. In his last five bouts, he’s 4-1. He lost to Junior Dos Santos in November of 2011 in his first title defense as champion by first-round knock, but rebounded in a stellar way. He beat Antonio Silva at UFC 146 to earn a title shot against JDS in May of 2012 with a first-round TKO win. He went and faced JDS for the second time at UFC 155, which he won by unanimous decision. He made his first title defense during his second reign as champion against Antonio Silva at UFC 160, which he won by first-round TKO and then in his next fight he beat JDS for the third time at UFC 166 by fifth-round TKO.

Fabricio Werdum (19-5-1) 6 KOs, 9 submissions, 4 decision wins in his career and is currently on a five-fight winning streak. In his last five bouts, he’s 5-0. He beat Roy Nelson at UFC 143 by unanimous decision, then knocked out Mike Russow at UFC 147 by first-round knockout and then beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in June of 2013 by second-round arm bar. He beat Travis Browne to earn a title show in April of 2014 by unanimous decision. He was supposed to fight Cain Velasquez, but Velasquez went down with an injury and fought Mark Hunt for the interim UFC heavyweight title at UFC 180, which Werdum won by second-round TKO.

Prediction: Cain Velasquez by unanimous decision.

 






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