The world stood still when news flooded the shelves that Cain Velasquez wouldn’t defend his title in front of his home crowd at UFC 180.

But one phone call later, Velasquez was replaced by the long-time fan favorite in Mark Hunt. And while Hunt is a much lesser-appealing main event for the Mexican crowd than their hometown boy, Velasquez’s replacement is enough to keep the card relevant.

Hunt will meet Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, November 15 at the Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City.

In the co-main event, Jake Ellenberger will meet Kelvin Gastelum while Ricardo Lamas and Dennis Bermudez will square off in a featherweight showdown.

The MMA Corner’s Josh Davis (29-15) and Garrett Derr (27-17) are here to make their predictions for every main card fight.

 

Edgar Garcia vs. Hector Urbina

Davis: Garcia has never lived up to his potential, but he is riding a four-fight winning streak, as indications allow us to believe that maybe he is starting to put things together. For me, this comes down to the fact that Garcia has the big stage experience and he will use that experience and his superior striking to get the victory.

Prediction: Garcia by Decision

Derr: Garcia is that rare exception that started with Zuffa, bounced his way into Bellator and now is back with the UFC. He’s been brought back solely for his ability to entertainwhich is why the UFC is using him as a kickstarter for the main card. His striking continues to improve and that’s what he’ll utilize to earn his fifth straight win.

Prediction: Garcia by KO, Round 1

 

Augusto Montano vs. Chris Heatherly

Davis: A loss for Heatherly probably means the end of his UFC career. If Heatherly can not get this fight to the ground, he will be waking up to a pink slip and unfortunately for Heatherly, I do not think he can get this fight to the ground. I look for Montano to showcase his striking en route to a victory.

Prediction: Montano by TKO, Round 3

Derr: Heatherly’s back is against the wall and Montano is probably the last guy he’d want to face. Montano’s well-rounded skill-set has allowed him to rack up 13 wins with as many finishes. Look for Heatherly to work this one to the ground, but Montano’s takedown defense is star-studded. Montano makes it rain in Mexico.

Prediction: Montano by KO, Round 2

 

Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez

Davis: This is a great fight for the featherweight division and certainly has title implications. Yes, I understand that Lamas lost to Aldo at UFC 169, but he rebounded well with a victory Hacran Dias and a victory of Bermudez puts him right back in contention. Bermudez on the other hand has arguably the quietest seven fight win streak in the history of the UFC. One would think that and eighth straight victory and a win over Lamas would put him on the short list. It’s hard to pick against somebody who has won seven fights in a row, plus I think he will be able to control the fight with his wrestling.

Prediction: Bermudez by Decision

Derr: The most underrated fighter in the UFC? That award goes to Bermudez who’s reeled together seven straight in a thick featherweight division. He’ll meet his match against Lamas who will want to stand and exchange. There was a time when Bermudez would quickly shoot for the takedown and work his ground game, but the evolution of his overall game has created an effective striker. Bermudez’s chin will be put to test, but I like “The Menace” to prevail.

Prediction: Bermudez by Decision

 

Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Davis: While any fighter that gets into the cage displays heart and courage, I have always thought that Jake Ellenberger has been overrated. I never believed that he was a top 10 welterweight and I honestly believe that he is on his way out. Look for Gastelum to expose many of Ellenberger’s weakness and roll to victory.

Prediction: Gastelum by Decision

Derr: Gastelum is the favorite as his youth and athleticism has allowed him to win four straight in the UFC’s 170-pound division. Gastelum will not be able to impose his will on Ellenberger who’s no stranger to wrestling. I’m not ready to set sail on Ellenberger after dropping two straight. I envision a fresh start to Ellenberger’s career as he’ll pick his shots and outwork his opponent en route to a much-needed slash in the win column.

Prediction: Ellenberger by Decision

 

Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt

Davis: If Hunt wins this fight, it truly would be a perfect Hollywood movie. The odds are stacked against him. He took this fight on short notice, he has little time to lose enough weight to get down to heavy weight and he is fighting at over 7,000 feet against one of the best submission specialists in all of MMA. I love Hunt, but unless he is able to land that one big punch to put Werdum to sleep, I’m not sure how he wins the fight. My heart says Hunt, but my gut says Werdum will be able to stand on the outside and pick his shots, control the clinch, get this fight to the ground while getting a submission victory.

Prediction: Werdum by Submision Round 3

Derr: Raise your hand if you would love to see Hunt walk out of Mexico with a strap of gold? Likewise. Hunt’s challenges go far beyond Werdum as he’s fighting in a ridiculously high-elevated location in Mexico. Hunt’s prime opportunity will come in the opening frame as he’ll look to tag Werdum with his vicious striking. I envision Werdum surviving an early storm, while working Hunt to the ground. Regardless of the outcome, we’re in for a real treat.

Prediction: Werdum by Submission, Round 4

 

Follow @JoshDavisMMA and @GarrettDerr on Twitter.