UFC 180 looks like another fairly weak PPV card being put on by the UFC. The title fight was supposed to feature Heavyweight Champion Velasquez fighting top contender Fabricio Werdum, but an injury has forced Velasquez out of the fight and the UFC has decided to replace him with Mark Hunt and call the fight an Interim Title Fight. The heavyweight division isn’t the most exciting in the UFC right now primarily because Velasquez can’t seem to stay healthy. Werdum really did deserve a title shot after winning his 4 fights in his return to the UFC, but now he will have to beat Hunt and hope Velasquez gets healthier to truly get his title shot.
There are two other fights on this card that are pretty interesting as well. A Welterweight battle between Jake Ellenberger and Kelvin Gastelum and a Featherweight tilt between Ricardo Lamas and Dennis Bermudez.
The last event I bet on was Fight Night 55 where I took Rockhold inside distance and also took Pearson in the co-main. I was correct with Rockhold, but Pearson was beat by a very strong looking Al Iaquinta, which left me basically even for the night.
2014 Record: 48-29 for +17.66 units.
Mark Hunt vs Fabricio Werdum
Mark Hunt is coming off a big knockout win over Roy Nelson, but we seem to forget that he did draw Bigfoot Silva, who is now ranked just #8 after some bad losses in the UFC. Before that he was knocked out by JDS. The fighters such as Struve, Kongo, and Rothwell that Hunt has beaten just aren’t in the same class as Werdum. I’m expecting Werdum to control this fight from the get go.
The only way I see Hunt winning is if he somehow lands one of his power punches to knock Werdum out, but I think Werdum has the ability to avoid getting finished by the dangerous men of the division. He has posted recent decision wins over both Browne and Nelson, both of who are known for finishing fights. I like Werdum in this one, but I’m not sure how he will win.
Take Werdum to win -385 @ BetOnline.ag.
Jake Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum
I see Ellenberger as a bit of a gatekeeper in the Welterweight division these days. His last two fights were against Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald, both losses, but these were to the top two contenders in the division. That said Ellenberger doesn’t have many big wins on his record. His best win was probably over Jake Shields in 2011 and Shields isn’t even in the UFC anymore.
When I look at Gastelum though I see a guy who knows how to win. He shocked the TUF world when he beat Uriah Hall to win TUF 17. Since then he’s strung together 3 straight wins in the UFC, the biggest name was probably Rick Story, who showed he is still for real after he beat Gunnar Nelson last month. Gastelum will have to stay busy in this fight with Ellenberger because I don’t think he will be able to get a knockout finish, but he does know how to get wins and I see him becoming a threat in this division very soon.
Take Gastelum -235 @ BetOnline.ag.
Ricardo Lamas vs Dennis Bermudez
#4 ranked Lamas takes on #7 ranked Bermudez in what will be a very exciting fight on this card. The winner of this fight will immediately put themselves in the conversation along with Swanson, Edgar and McGregor as potential title competitors in this very exciting division. Conor McGregor has really put the Featherweight division on the map and whichever fighter wins this will benefit tremendously.
Lamas just had his title shot against Aldo in February this year, which he lost by decision. That said he has won every other fight at the UFC, although his only top competitor was Cub Swanson, who he beat in 2011 (he’s the last fighter to beat Swanson).
Bermudez is another TUF alum and he has yet to lose since dropping the finale to Diego Brandao. That streak includes wins over Max Holloway, and most recently a dominating performance against Clay Guida. I think Bermudez is the real deal and a win over an established fighter like Ricardlo Lamas will do a lot to put him up there with the likes of McGregor and Swanson as potential fights for Aldo. If Dana is looking for new fights for Aldo, Bermudez could definitely get a shot down the line if he keeps getting wins.
Take Bermudez -180 @ BetOnline.ag.