Werdum landed a number of strikes, leaving Velasquez bloody on the way to securing a guillotine choke at 2:13 of the third round to win the belt and evening’s main event.
“I had a good strategy,” Werdum said during his post-fight interview. “I had a big dream, and I got it today.”
In the early moments, Velasquez came out with his typical aggressive approach and threw heavy punches in high volume. Werdum countered well, standing in the pocket and landing a few of his own shots, but Velasquez landed the greater number of strikes in the opening round.
Both men showed to be tired as the second round went on. Velasquez continued to apply his aggression while moving forward, but Werdum began to land more and more punches, rocking his a opponent on a couple occasions. Werdum applied the clinch a number of times, tying up Velasquez and landing various short strikes and knees. Velasquez was left wobbled with each knee his opponent landed.
In the third, Velasquez shot in for a takedown early, but Werdum was able to roll out of trouble. They got back to the feet and Velasquez landed a head kick, and he later shot in for a takedown. Although Velasquez put his opponent on his back, Werdum secured the guillotine that would bring a stop to the contest. Velasquez tapped out and Werdum became the new UFC heavyweight champion.
Following the loss, Velasquez said he might not have spent enough time training locally to acclimate to the 7,500-foot altitude, which may have contributed to coming up short in his title defense.
“This is more motivation for me to keep getting better, come back and win that belt back again,” Velasquez said.
With the win, Werdum unifies the interim belt and becomes the undisputed champion. He currently has the longest win streak in the UFC heavyweight division at six.
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