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Monday Morning Hangover: What's next for Cain Velasquez after submission loss to Fabricio Werdum?

Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as the wild and crazy UFC 188 pay-per-view (PPV) event blew the roof off Arena Ciudad de Mexico last Saturday night (June 13, 2015) in Mexico City, Mexico.

For complete results from UFC 188: "Velasquez vs. Werdum," including play-by-play updates, click here.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Gilbert Melendez, who came up on the wrong end of a split-decision loss to Eddie Alvarez (video replay here). And Nate Marquardt, who was forced to quit on his stool after getting beat down by Kelvin Gastelum for two rounds (recap here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Cain Velasquez.

Velasquez looked to bounce back after a near two-year layoff, as he challenged interim titleholder, Fabricio Werdum, in the main event of the evening. Despite the extended absence, Team Velasquez was confident going into the fight that ring rust would not be a factor.

Neither would the high altitude, which saw all the combatants do battle at 7,300 feet above see level.

Unfortunately for Cain, he ran into an opponent who was staying active in the cage while he was healing, including winning the interim title by knocking out Mark Hunt, a fight he earned by besting Travis Browne. In addition, Werdum had competed in Mexico before and was living in the country for two months prior to the title fight.

That said, the punishing altitude was nothing new for "Vai Cavalo," which seemed to affect the legendary gas tank of Cain (as predicted).

You won't hear him tell it, however, as the former champion isn't dishing out excuses for the loss, which came in the third round of their scheduled five-rounder, after Werdum -- a decorated jiu-jitsu specialist -- latched onto an air-tight guillotine choke that had the wrestling powerhouse tapping for dear life.

See it again here.

What's more surprising, is the fact that Werdum got the better of Cain on the feet, as well, as the two men stood toe-to-toe in the first two frames, much to the delight of fans. While Fabricio wasn't landing knockout haymakers, he was blasting Cain repeatedly, and most importantly, at a calm and controlled pace.

The loss is only the second of Cain's MMA career, which at the age of 32, means he still has plenty of time to get back to the big dance and recapture his crown.

With a plethora of worthy big men champing at the bit to challenge Werdum, including Andrei Arlovski, Stipe Miocic, Junior dos Santos, and Ben Rothwell, plenty of them will be disappointed when the next title contender is announced, which I believe will be Arlovski, based on his win streak alone.

Having said that, a fight between Cain and Rothwell would be a good comeback fight for the former champion. After all, it would give "Big Ben" the opportunity to back up these recent bold statements against the former champion, as well as earn some get-back for his loss to Cain at UFC 104 roughly five years ago.

Anyway, that's my silly idea ... what's yours?

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