In a weekend chock full of mixed martial arts (MMA) action, the UFC 180 pay-per-view (PPV) proved to be the night's most exciting card, delivering finishes in each main card bout.
In the main event, Fabricio Werdum was crowned the interim UFC heavyweight champion with his hellacious flying knee knockout over fan-favorite Mark Hunt (see it again here). After getting battered in the first round and losing the majority of the second, "Vai Cavalo" pulled off a "knockout of the year" contender seemingly out of nowhere to earn the belt.
Werdum can now return to Brazil, and once again set his sights on UFC champion Cain Velasquez.
Before all the action unfolded inside the Octagon, there were a ton of promotional appearances to generate awareness for the highly anticipated heavyweight collision. Fighters said this and that, hyping the fight and event in hopes of garnering massive PPV buys for UFC's first trip to Mexico.
MMAmania.com does a pretty good job of passing along all the noteworthy pre- and post-fight comments for each event. But, as we've done before, let us look at some of the most glaring remarks said not long before they stepped into the cage on Saturday night.
I'm here to win that No. 1 spot, I'm gonna knock Fabricio out. His object is to probably put me down and tire me out. I know that. But all I need is one punch, one knee, one kick. Troubled waters, baby.
-- Well this quote did not bode too well for Mark Hunt. Unfortunately for "The Super Samoan," Werdum was the fighter who only needed one knee to finish the job this past Saturday night at UFC 180.
While many expected, Hunt included, that Werdum would look to employ his jiu-jitsu game against the feared striker, "Vai Cavalo" was unable to do much off his back for more than two minutes in the first round. In the second, Hunt was getting the better of Werdum on the feet, but all it took was one incredible flying knee from the ADCC legend to take out Hunt in style.
Maybe a submission. I will work hard to get him tired. Who knows, maybe I can surprise [Hunt] standing. I know it's not easy. My prediction is that I will win the title. I envision myself speaking to Joe Rogan, with my hands raised, thanking everyone who helped me get here.
--Fabricio Werdum never thought his fight with Mark Hunt was an easier test than that of Cain Velasquez. In all of his pre-fight talk, Werdum gave massive credit to Hunt's superb punching power, and even his ability to defend submissions well.
In the end, Werdum hit the nail on the head by noting that he could potentially surprise "The Super Samoan" standing. Not only did his flying knee knockout surprise both Hunt and "Vai Cavalo" himself, but UFC president Dana White was shocked by the finish, as well.
Werdum's prediction came to fruition, and the new UFC interim heavyweight champion is looking like a clairvoyant on Sunday afternoon.
I don't pay a lot of attention to rankings, you know because it's really just a number. If you're not No. 1 then you're not the champ. I like the match-up [with Gastelum] a lot, he's a tough kid, but I'm more than ready to go in there and dominate.
-- Jake Ellenberger had many fight fans convinced that his best days were still in front of him; that his losses to Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler made him a better fighter. But after being submitted in the first round by Kelvin Gastelum, it seems that Ellenberger's career in UFC may be dwindling.
Ellenberger did not come close to dominating Gastelum, although he did have his bright spots early on in the fight. The fact is, however, Gastelum outworked Ellenberger en route to the submission victory (video here), and he will be the one moving up the rankings.
If Ellenberger does not right the ship quickly, he could be fighting for Bellator (again) come mid-2015.
Lamas and I are similar fighters. We both go in, hold the center of the Octagon and push a good pace. We both mix up our striking and wrestling well, but I feel like I'm a little bit better in all areas. The goal is to go in there, bring a super-hard pace and make the guy really question if he wants to be in there. I'm going to be in his face for 15 minutes, and over that time, my goal is to really make him think about quitting. I want to give him a reason to do that.
-- This is going to be a tough pill to swallow for Dennis Bermudez. The seemingly indomitable featherweight came into UFC 180 with arguably the best hot streak in MMA as "The Menace" had reeled off seven straight victories inside the Octagon.
Unfortunately for Bermudez, his gameplan to make Ricardo Lamas quit over 15 minutes of hard pressure did not work out too well. Instead, his title hopes were dashed by "The Bully" as Lamas took out his foe in just over three minutes via guillotine (replay here).
That's a wrap!
For more results and fallout from UFC 180 including play-by-play, videos, reactions, recaps, and more, check out our "Werdum vs Hunt" live story stream right here.