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Bonus Watch! Potential UFC 180 award winners tonight in Mexico City

UFC will storm Mexico City, Mexico, for the first time ever later this evening when it pulls the trigger on UFC 180 from Mexico City Arena. Before the action begins, take a look at the special fighters and fights who have the potential to haul in one or more of UFC's performance-based bonuses.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is South of the Border TONIGHT (Sat., Nov. 15, 2014), presenting UFC 180 from Mexico City Arena in Mexico. The pay-per-view (PPV) event features an interim Heavyweight title clash, as well as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Latin America" Finale, which is a showcase of several up-and-coming fighters from Mexico and South America.

UFC 180's main event was supposed to feature Mexican-American Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez; however, he had to pull out of his scheduled bout with Fabricio Werdum because of a knee injury. Taking his place will be "Super Samoan," Mark Hunt, whose unlikely shot at an interim title is one of the most unlikely success stories in mixed martial arts (MMA).

The co-main event features Welterweight standouts Jake Ellenberger and Kelvin Gastelum, two heavy hitters with wrestling backgrounds. The card also features a very relevant clash in the Featherweight division, as former title challenger Ricardo Lamas takes on Dennis Bermudez, who will look to up his win streak to eight in a row at this event.

It should be a fun night.

Now, let's break down some of the fighters who may walk away with bonuses at this event:

Fabricio Werdum (Fighting Mark Hunt): As much as I want Hunt to win this fight, the odds are stacked completely against him. There is a route to victory for him, sure, but Werdum has had longer to acclimate to the elevation of Mexico City, as well as a longer training camp. Hunt comes in on a few weeks notice, fighting a man who could very well expose the holes in his game. On more even terms, it might be easier to see Hunt winning, but the only way I can see this fight going is with Werdum finishing the exhausted Kiwi at some point after the first round.

Kelvin Gastelum (Fighting Jake Ellenberger): This is a bout of precision versus power. And you just have to back Gastelum as the more precise, sharp fighter. Ellenberger has a way of turning into a shell when he faces strikers willing to put the pressure on him and Gastelum has the ability to do just that, as well as keep any takedown attempts at bay. I think he'll be far too much for Ellenberger to handle and will dominate the fight from bell to bell. And maybe even score a finish.

Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez: This is a fight between two guys with very similar attributes. Both are power punchers who can place their strikes well, but with unmistakable backgrounds in wrestling that makes them tough as nails, multi-faceted threats. Bermudez is the more aggressive of the two, I'd say, but Lamas will go punch for punch with him in a great scrap. No matter where these two guys are exchanging, expect this to be a fight full of action.

Augusto Montano (Fighting Chris Heatherly): Montano uses his length well, is light on his feet, throws with precision and overall just seems like a very decent -- albeit unspectacular -- fighter. Heatherly was given trouble with the length of Ben Saunders before eventually succumbing to an omoplata submission, the first time that move has been successfully used in UFC. Montano has finished every one of his wins, eight by knockout and five by submission, and I expect him to run through Heatherly tonight.

Jessica Eye (Fighting Leslie Smith): Jessica Eye is a scrapper. And even though she may not be the most technical fighter, she keeps her chin tucked and is wary of counter strikes. Smith seems to be a bit of a scrapper herself, as most female fighters seem to be these days, but she is careless in defense and lacks the technical ability to put Eye in a corner like she did against the miserably confused fighter that is Jessamyn Duke. Eye takes this in a very convincing decision win through a precise, aggressive striking gameplan.

And there you have it.

UFC 180 isn't the most star-studded fight card, but it does feature some interesting fights, especially those top three billed fights. This will be UFC's first event held in Mexico, so it will certainly be one they want to be exciting ... and it can deliver on that front.

Enjoy the fights!

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