UFC 180 Picks: Werdum vs. Hunt

UFC 180 is on Saturday night in Mexico City. This is the first time that the UFC will host an event in Mexico. Tickets sold out in eight hours and the atmosphere should be electric. Unfortunately, we have to settle for an interim title fight due to the Velasquez injury.

Fabricio Werdum will now fight Mark Hunt in the main event for the interim title while Velasquez heals his knee. Be sure to watch the prelims if you want to catch the two Latin America TUF Finals fights, both of which should be exciting to say the least.

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UFC 180 Main Event Predictions

  • Fabricio Werdum (18-5-1) –410 vs. Mark Hunt (10-8-1) +365

The interim HW title is scheduled for five rounds and that’ll give Werdum an edge. I don’t see how Hunt can win this fight. Hunt has power, but Werdum has only been knocked out once back in 2008 by JDS. Hunt is going to have trouble landing strikes.

Werdum has a 5’’ reach advantage and he’ll be able to keep Hunt at a distance. Werdum can then come sweeping in for takedowns and work his submissions. Hunt has been submitted six times and I’ll be betting on Werdum to win by submission (-170).

UFC 180 Main Card Predictions

  • Kelvin Gastelum (9-0) –192 vs. Jake Ellenberger (29-8) +177

Gastelum is undefeated in the UFC (4-0) with impressive wins over Story and Hall. Ellenberger is on a 2-fight losing streak, but both of the losses came against top competition (MacDonald & Lawler). Gastelum is a great prospect, but I’m not quite sold on him yet.

His TD defense needs work (60%) and that could cost him in this fight. Ellenberger actively seeks takedowns in the cage and he may have success against the young and inexperienced fighter. Ellenberger also has decent striking defense. I’ll be on the underdog.

  • Dennis Bermudez (14-3) –170 vs. Ricardo Lamas (14-3) +160

Lamas has deceptive power, but it’s unlikely he’ll connect and knockout Bermudez who has never been KO’ed. Bermudez has been tapped out in his three career losses and he’ll have to be careful not to get choked out once this fight ends up on the ground.

Bermudez has 18 takedowns in his last four fights including two fights where he put up six in each. Bermudez lands 4.64 TD’s per 15 minutes in the cage and Lamas has poor TD defense (46%). Bermudez on the money line is my best bet on the UFC 180 card.

  • Augusto Montano (13-1) –210 vs. Chris Heatherly (8-2-0-1) +190

Heatherly lost his UFC debut back in August against Saunders and now he has a chance to redeem himself against Montano who will be making his debut in the UFC on Saturday night. Heatherly will look for takedowns, but he’s outmatched in striking.

Montano will be fighting in his home country in front of a huge crowd. He has a 5’’ reach advantage and a lot of power. Heatherly has never been knocked out in his career and that may not change, but I’ll be betting on Montano to win SU and on my parlays.

  • Edgar Garcia (14-3) –190 vs. Hector Urbina (16-8-1) +170

This is a tough fight that doesn’t interest me much. This is the 2nd stint in the UFC for Garcia. He’s 0-2 in the UFC. Garcia has decent striking and he has worked on his submission game a lot. I expect him to look to utilize his striking early against Urbina.

Urbina has a lot of power, but he also has a questionable chin and has been knocked out five times. This will be the debut in the UFC for Urbina and I’m sure he’ll have some nerves. I dislike this fight from a betting standpoint, but I expect Garcia to get the win.