Fight day has arrived!
Get all the info you need with our UFC 180: "Werdum vs Hunt" fight day preview for the pay-per-view (PPV) event, which goes down later this evening (Sat., Nov. 15, 2014) with an enticing offering for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans down in Mexico City, Mexico.
Catch all the action LIVE from Mexico City Arena with a PPV start time of 10 p.m. ET (for up-to-date UFC 180 results click here).
Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of UFC's first trip down to Mexico.
Who: Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt for interim UFC Heavyweight title
What: UFC 180
When: Sat., Nov. 15, 2014, beginning at 10 p.m. ET on PPV
Where: Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico
How To Watch: PPV main card at 10 p.m ET; UFC on FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" under card at 8 p.m ET; and UFC Fight Pass early "Prelims" at 7 p.m. ET.
Live UFC 180 results: Play-by-play coverage stream
Why It Matters: If you are a fan of sports history, then you can not miss UFC's first trip down to Mexico. While the card has certainly been battered by the injury bug, UFC has done a solid job of keeping the PPV event exciting on paper. Other than the history behind the event itself, the main event could end with the culmination of possibly the greatest comeback story in the history of sports, let alone MMA. Former K-1 champion and Pride FC star, Mark "The Super Samoan" Hunt will fight for UFC gold against No. 1 contender Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum, filling in for injured champion Cain Velasquez on just three week's notice. If Hunt can pull off the victory and become the interim champion, it will be a moment forever etched in the history of UFC and MMA as a sport.
What's Hot: The top three bouts on the PPV all have major consequences in their respective divisions, and that is all fans could really ask for on a PPV. With Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum we have an enticing Welterweight match up that could answer whether or not Gastelum is a legitimate contender, and if Ellenberger can solidify himself as one of the most dangerous knockout artists in the division once again. With Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas, fans will be treated to a tremendous Featherweight tilt, with the winner inching one step closer to a UFC title shot. Of course, the main event pits two Heavyweight behemoths against one another for the right to be deemed UFC champion. No matter the "interim" label, you can bet that both men are desperately hoping to add the gold plated leather belt to their mantelpiece come Sunday morning.
What's Not: The first two fights on the PPV are highly questionable. Even with injuries derailing two main card bouts, the fact that Augusto Montano vs. Chris Heatherly and Edgar García vs. Hector Urbina are on the PPV main card are simply unacceptable. Many hardcore fans won't know any of the four competitors previously mentioned, let alone any casual fans watching the PPV at a bar or with friends. I know we are beating a dead horse here, but it is painfully evident UFC is putting on too many shows. The world's leading MMA promotion should not ask fans to shell out $55 to see these two fights open up the PPV main card. Unfortunately, until the PPV buys take a huge hit and UFC gets the message, we will likely continue to see bad match ups on PPV cards.
-- The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Latin America" competitors: A large portion of the UFC 180 "Prelims" under card features the TUF: "Latin America" prospects getting their shot at the big time. Gabriel Benitez (16-4) will take on Humberto Brown (4-4), Enrique Briones (15-4-1) will take on Guido Cannetti (6-1) and Marco Beltrán (5-3) will battle against Marlon Vera (6-1-1).
-- TUF: "Latin America" Finalists: The main- and co-main event of the UFC 180 "Prelims" feature the TUF: "Latin America" finalists as Yair Rodríguez (3-1) takes on Leonardo Morales (4-0) in the Featherweight final, and Alejandro Pérez (14-5) takes on Jose Alberto Quiñónez (3-1) in the Bantamweight final. Rodríguez finished both of his opponents on the show, while Morales pulled off a sensational knockout early on in the season. Quinonez may be inexperienced, having fought only four times professionally, but his wins in the house proved that he deserves a shot in the Octagon. Perez also notched one of the season's best knockouts, but we will have to wait and see whether he can pick up his fifteenth MMA victory inside the Octagon tonight.
-- Hector Urbina (vs. Edgar García) Yet another TUF prospect has found his way on to UFC 180, but Urbina is making his Octagon debut coming off the nineteenth season of the reality series. Urbina is 16-8 in his MMA career, with nine (technical) knockouts and four submission victories to his credit. Urbina holds no notable victories, but has lost to Jason Miller, Lyman Good and Tim Kennedy.
-- Augusto Montaño (vs. Chris Heatherly) The Mexican national is 13-1, including eight (technical) knockouts and five submission victories. Holds no notable victories, but has won four straight after losing to Sam Alvey.
Original Card vs. Actual Card: As previously mentioned, the injury bug wreaked havoc on this card over the last month, which has resulted in the lackluster PPV set forth in front of you. Here is a quick rundown of all the injuries and changes to UFC 180:
The event was initially set to be headlined by UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez defending his title against No. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum, but a knee injury to the champion forced him out of the UFC's first trip to Mexico just three weeks before the event. UFC did a sensational job courting fan-favorite Mark Hunt to Mexico in order to replace Velasquez, and will fight Werdum for the interim title this evening.
The card took another huge blow when both Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon were injured in training, thus forcing UFC to scrap the Lightweight bout altogether. The initial match up was actually Norman Parke taking on Sanchez, but a knee injury to the northern Irishman gave Lauzon the opportunity to jump on the card. Unfortunately, the injuries just continued to pile up, and none of the three competitors will throw down this evening.
Another blow to this card came when Mexican Bantamweight Erik Perez pulled out of his bout with Marcus Brimage because of a shoulder injury. Brimage was eventually pulled from the card, and placed to fight Jumabieke Tuerxun, who he knocked out viciously, at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping.
How The "Prelims" Look: Bad.
Unless you watched TUF: "Latin America," there is not much to enjoy on this "Prelims" undercard other than the women's Bantamweight bout between Jessica Eye and Leslie Smith. While it is mind boggling UFC opted to have these women fight on the under card, fans will be treated to a free back and forth brawl between two of the most exciting women on the planet. Do not miss this fight.
Who Needs a Win Badly: This portion is reserved for fighters who could be fighting for their jobs tonight, rather than contenders or title challengers needing victory. Let's take a look at those who need to pull it together:
-- Chris Heatherly (vs. Augusto Montaño): Being the first fighter to ever submit to an omoplata in UFC history is not exactly the debut Heatherly was looking for this past August. While a loss won't guarantee a pink slip from UFC, Heatherly better not test the waters.
Interest Level: 6/10
To be frank, this 11-fight event has four fights worth watching, and those alone have piqued my interest level to 6/10.
Anchoring the card is undoubtedly "Super Samoan" Mark Hunt. His enigmatic persona, incredibly satisfying fight style, and wildly impressive comeback story is something to behold and has made Hunt one of the most adored fighters in MMA history. A man that was once nearly bought out of his contract by UFC to have him not compete in the Octagon is fighting for UFC gold tonight, and it simply could not get more exciting.
Win, lose or draw, Mark Hunt is an absolute legend in the sport, and his incredible return after going winless (0-6) from 2006-2010 may be the greatest story in the history of MMA. Enjoy this moment tonight, and let's watch in unison as Hunt attempts to make history while proving all of his doubters wrong.
Enjoy the show!
Check out the full UFC 180: "Werdum vs Hunt" fight card below:
UFC 180 Main Event:
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt for interim Heavyweight title
UFC 180 Main Card (PPV, Start Time 10 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum
145 lbs.: Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas
170 lbs.: Augusto Montano vs. Chris Heatherly
170 lbs.: Edgar Garcia vs. Hector Urbina
UFC 180 "Prelims" Under Card (FOX Sports 1, Start Time 8 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Leonardo Morales vs. Yair Rodriguez for TUF: "Latin America" featherweight final
135 lbs.: Alejandro Perez vs. Jose Quinonez for TUF: "Latin America" bantamweight final
135 lbs.: Jessica Eye vs. Leslie Smith
145 lbs.: Humberto Brown vs. Gabriel Benitez
UFC 180 "Prelims" Under Card (Fight Pass, Start Time 7 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Henry Briones vs. Guido Cannetti
135 lbs.: Marco Beltran vs. Marlon Vera
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 180 fight card on fight night, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET before the PPV start time at 10 p.m. ET.
See you then!