UFC 180 is taking place this Saturday night in Mexico City. It was supposed to be a huge card with Velasquez defending his title against top contender Fabricio Werdum, but an injury to Velasquez has forced him out of the fight, which is a big blow to the UFC who had hoped to continue to establish the Heavyweight Champ as they move further into the Mexican market. Instead the UFC has opted to hold a Interim Heavyweight Title Fight with Werdum taking on #4 ranked Mark Hunt.
The other big fights on the card include Jake Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum and Ricardo Lamas vs Dennis Bermudez.
So let’s get right into it with some big picks:
Mark Hunt vs Fabricio Werdum
Mark Hunt is coming off a big win over a very similar fighter in Roy Nelson, but we shouldn’t forget that he also fought to a draw with Bigfoot Silva, who many top fighters have had their way with. Before that he was knocked out by Junior Dos Santos. Hunt is a very exciting fighter and that may result in him being ranked higher than he should be. He doesn’t actually have a win over anyone in the UFC that is currently ranked #8 or higher (Bigfoot is ranked #8). I think he could be outclassed by Werdum who was able to dominate Travis Browne in their title eliminator fight and he also had big wins over Roy Nelson and big Nog in recent history.
I like Werdum to win this fight.
Pick Fabricio Werdum -385 at BetOnline.
Kelvin Gastelum vs Jake Ellenberger
Gastelum is a guy that simply knows how to win. He shocked the TUF world with his win over Uriah Hall in the TUF 17 finale and since he dropped down to Welterweight he’s now won 3 straight UFC fights, including a win over Rick Story who is now ranked #12 after a big win over Gunnar Nelson.
Ellenberger has become a bit of a gatekeeper for the Welterweight division in the UFC. He has gotten the chance against some of the top fighters, but he’s lost each of these fights. You can’t really knock Ellenberger for his losses though, he has lost to Lawler and MacDonald in his last two fights, but he also hasn’t beaten anyone in the top 15 of the division. It seems like the UFC has either given him easy fights or very difficult ones. This one is kind of in the middle so we may see what Jake really has to offer.
I expect Gastelum to find a way to win this fight. He’ll get past the gatekeeper and become a real threat in this weightclass.
Pick Kelvin Gastelum -235 @ BetOnline.
Ricardo Lamas vs Dennis Bermudez
This is a very interesting fight in the division that has garanered a ton of attention of late thanks to Conor McGregor. Lamas is currently ranked #4, while Bermudez is ranked #7. That said, either of these guys have the ability to be at the top of this division and that makes this fight very interesting.
Lamas has won 5 of his 6 UFC fights, with his only loss in the promotion coming in a title fight against Aldo. He also beat Cub Swanson, handing him his most recent loss, which was actually way back in November of 2011, so this shows that Lamas is for real. Bermudez though is coming off a dominant performance over Clay Guida and he hasn’t lost a fight since the TUF 14 finale against Diego Brandao.
I’ve been very impressed with Bermudez in his last couple fights and I think he is ready to take the step into the top echelon of this division.
Pick Dennis Bermudez @ BetOnline.ag.