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Fabricio Werdum explains decision to grant Cain Velasquez immediate rematch

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Fabricio Werdum choked out Cain Velasquez to win the heavyweight title at UFC 188, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community started buzzing over who would be the next contender to compete for the strap.

Velasquez, who offered no excuses for the lopsided defeat, wasn't exactly at the top of the list.

Probably because he was so handily defeated. In fact, even UFC President Dana White was planning to scare up a fresh contender (see his first two choices here), but then a few weeks later, it was announced that Werdum would run it back against the ex-champ.

Now, "Vai Cavalo" explains why (via MMA Fighting):

"I offered him a rematch after the fight because I respect him like I respected Fedor (Emelianenko). Those are the fighters that I respect the most in the MMA world because they show what they can do inside the cage, not by talking. After that, fans started saying Cain didn't deserve a rematch because I dominated him, and I got into it as well. But I respect Cain. He was the best in the world one day, and I will give him a rematch, no problem."

If Velasquez wins, then we get the rubber match, much like we did with Junior dos Santos.

That could leave the winner of Andrei Arlovski vs. Frank Mir to fight the winner of Ben Rothwell vs. Stipe Miocic. But if Werdum prevails, then we could be in a situation where UFC selects the next contender based on what happens in the aforementioned fights.

Let's say Arlovski sleeps Mir and Rothwell wins a boring decision, the promotion would likely take "The Pitbull" (or vice versa). All we need now to get the heavyweight train to leave the championship station is a date and venue for "Werdum vs. Velasquez 2."

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