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UFC 188: Results and Winners from Top Fights from Saturday's Card

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2015

Kelvin Gastelum celebrates after defeating Jake Ellenberger, both from the United States, in a UFC 180 mixed martial arts bout in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Gastelum won the fight by submission. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)
Christian Palma/Associated Press

UFC 188 certainly didn't end the way most expected. Instead of the familiar sight of Dana White wrapping the championship belt around Cain Velasquez's waist, it was Fabricio Werdum who was named the unified heavyweight champion. 

Vai Cavalo not only submitted the now former champion, he beat him on the feet and in the clinch as well. It was as thorough a performance as we've seen from Werdum, and it was as excellent as it was shocking. 

But Werdum wasn't the only one who made a statement in Mexico City. Here's a look at the complete results and who came through in the biggest fights of the night.

UFC 188 Main Card (10 p.m. ET)

  • Fabricio Werdum def. Cain Velasquez, submission (Round 3, 2:13)
  • Eddie Alvarez def. Gilbert Melendez, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Kelvin Gastelum def. Nate Marquardt, TKO (Round 2, 5:00)
  • Yair Rodriguez def. Charles Rosa, split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Tecia Torres def. Angela Hill, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Prelims on FX (8 p.m. ET)

  • Henry Cejudo def. Chico Camus, unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Efrain Escudero def. Drew Dober, submission (Round 1, 0:54)
  • Patrick Williams def. Alejandro Perez, submission (Round 1, 0:23)
  • Johnny Case def. Francisco Trevino, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Prelims on UFC Fight Pass (7 p.m. ET)

  • Cathal Pendred def. Augusto Montano, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Gabriel Benitez def. Clay Collard, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Kelvin Gastelum Brings the Pain to Nate Marquardt, Eyes 170

Jan 30, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kelvin Gastelum at the weigh in for his welterweight bout against Tyron Woodley (not pictured) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Gastelum came into UFC 188 with a perfect opportunity to build some momentum. Coming off a split-decision loss to Tyron Woodley in which he missed weight at 170, the 23-year-old was given a 36-year-old Nate Marquardt. 

He didn't squander the opportunity. The Mexican-American dominated in front of the Mexican crowd, opening a 59-18 advantage in significant strikes on the veteran, according to FightMetric

After two rounds, Marquardt's trainer Trevor Wittman didn't see it fit for his fighter to answer the third bell, as noted by Brent Brookhouse of MMAjunkie:

Brent Brookhouse @brentbrookhouse

Trevor Wittman just proved his worth as a coach. He was not going to let Marquardt go out for Round 3 despite his fighter's protests.

Although Gastelum looked perfectly devastating at middleweight, he still expressed interest in moving back to 170 pounds. It was a notion that Dana White wasn't really a fan of. 

“I love this kid,” White said via MMAjunkie. “He’s such a great fighter. I love how he goes in with a kid like Marquardt and stands right in the pocket with him and exchanges. His standup looked great tonight. But I don’t believe he can make 170. I honestly don’t believe he can make 170."

Gastelum might want to heed the advice of the UFC's president. As Anthony Johnson's rapid rise up the light heavyweight ranks has shown, cutting weight isn't always the best answer. Gastelum has plenty of power to be competitive at 185. 

That much was clear on Saturday night. 

Eddie Alvarez is All Heart in Co-Main Event

John Locher/Associated Press

For years, Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez has been one of the best fights the UFC couldn't put on. At UFC 188, it finally happened, but it wasn't the fight everyone expected. 

Both fighters are known for setting a torrid pace, but through three rounds, the two landed just 68 combined strikes, according to FightMetric. That's fewer than the 88 Cain Velasquez landed in his losing effort against Fabricio Werdum in three rounds of main event action. 

However, it was an intriguing bout nonetheless. First, there was a nasty eye injury that Alvarez sustained in the first round. After blowing a blood clot out of his nose, his eye swelled shut almost instantly between rounds. 

Rather than pack it in and call it a night, Alvarez continued to fight and flipped the script on Melendez. To the surprise of many, it was actually Alvarez's unheralded wrestling that earned him the split decision. Alvarez scored three crucial takedowns through the last two rounds to turn the tide and earn the decision.

Mike Bohn of MMAjunkie noted the unlikelihood of the result:

Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA

Great win for Eddie Alvarez. If you told me his offensive wrestling would have been the difference in his victory, I wouldn't have believed.

In the end, it wasn't the highlight-filled fight most thought it would be. However, it was still a tremendous show of heart from the former Bellator champion and a big step toward relevancy in the lightweight division. 

Fabricio Werdum Shocks the World—Again

Christian Palma/Associated Press

As previously mentioned, the main event was the biggest shocker of the night. Then again, it had a sense of familiarity. Fabricio Werdum was also the man who ended Fedor Emelianenko's decade-long unbeaten streak with a first-round submission in 2010. 

This time, Werdum's streak-ending ways resulted in gold around his waist. 

This win was even more emphatic than the one that defined his career five years ago, though. This wasn't a case of Werdum "catching" Velasquez. He beat him at his own game. Werdum set a pace on the feet that rivaled the one the former champion normally puts his opponents through. 

Then he finished the fight where he's most comfortable—on the ground. 

All of a sudden, it's a legitimate question to ask where Vai Cavalo ranks among the all-time best heavyweights. Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting highlighted the best parts of his resume:

Marc Raimondi @marc_raimondi

Where do you rank Werdum among all-time heavyweights? Wins over Fedor, Velasquez, Big Nog, Overeem, Hunt, etc.

Of course, that question doesn't really have an answer yet. All of the best heavyweights in the world have had impressive title runs in their respective organizations. Werdum has yet to defend his belt. Then again, it's not the best of ideas to count out the new champion. 

He's proven before that he can beat the odds. 

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