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Fabricio Werdum UFC heavyweight champion after beating Caín Velásquez

After controversial statements and a delay due to injury, the highly anticipated fight between Caín Velásquez and Fabricio Werdum took place on Saturday night in Mexico City, the place where it was originally planned.

And in a fight of constant exchange of blows, Werdum showed his best against Velasquez, beating him by submission in the third round and becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion at the UFC 188 event.

Velasquez went all out at the start off a Brazilian who seemed to be trying to slow down the pace of the fight. But Werdum (20-5-1), a jiu jitsu expert, made adjustments to the failure of his initial strategy.

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“I trained the guillotine a lot to win this fight,” declared the winner. “I knew it was going to get into the legs.”

The 37-year-old Brazilian decided not to back down as he was forced to get involved in a low-tie match. And it was to Velásquez (13-2), with the sight of the left eye almost null due to a cut suffered in the first round, to whom all the blows entered.

In the middle of the third round, Velasquez did not accept the Brazilian’s initial offer to continue the fight on the canvas. When it was decided, the Mexican-American was easily subdued.

The highly anticipated confrontation between the two met expectations at an Arena Ciudad de México that was close to its maximum capacity.

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Velasquez hadn’t been in the Octagon since October 2013, when he knocked out Junior Dos Santos at UFC 166, and his long absence seemed to take a toll on him.

“Fabricio was better tonight, and that’s it,” Velasquez declared. «I was only here two weeks, I think it was not enough. But there are no excuses.

For his part, Werdum extends his streak to six consecutive wins that dates back to 2012 and includes clear victories over Hunt, Travis Browne and compatriot Minotauro Nogueira.

“I prepared for two years for this fight, I had already thought about everything that had to be done,” said Werdum. «The best moment of my life is today. I am very happy to be the champion.

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The five-round fight was originally scheduled to take place last November at UFC 180, but Velasquez was forced to cancel his participation after sustaining a knee injury a month earlier. On that occasion, Werdum knocked out Mark Hunt, the New Zealander who joined the event as a substitute.

The atmosphere around the unification fight had become tense after Werdum said in recent days that Velasquez is an “American trying to be Mexican.”

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