On Saturday, November 15, 2014, the UFC heads to Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico for UFC 180: Werdum vs. Hunt. This will be a first for the UFC as this will be the first event the organization has hosted in Mexico.

Originally this card was headlined by a UFC heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum who coached opposite one another during the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America, but due to a knee injury, Velasquez had to withdraw from the bout. Werdum is now slated for face Mark Hunt for the interim UFC heavyweight title.

While this card has seen some changes due to injuries and rescheduling, it is still loaded with great matchups like Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum and Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez.

As is the case with every UFC card, there are also bouts featuring fighters who need a win to stay on with the promotion. The UFC is a hyper-competitive atmosphere and with so many talented athletes clawing their way up the ranks in the smaller shows, once fighters get to opportunity to fight in the Octagon, they need to win to stay there.

UFC Newcomers

The first three bouts on the UFC 180 preliminary card feature nothing but UFC newcomers; all six combatants will be making there UFC debuts on Saturday. What that amounts to is win and you are in, or lose and you are out. Anytime the UFC matches up fighters who are making their promotional debuts, they are essentially making them fight to earn their place in the company; that is exactly what is taking place here in the first three bouts.

Loser of Jessica Eye vs. Leslie Smith

The lone women’s bout of the evening features Jessica Eye and Leslie Smith, battling it out for their place in the UFC. Since joining the UFC, Eye has been disappointing; her debut victory was turned into a No Contest because she failed a drug test and her last bout was a loss. Going winless in your first three UFC bouts is a surefire way to find you on the outside of the promotion looking in. Smith on the other hand is in a little bit of a better position as she picked up a solid win in her last outing, but losing would make her 1-2 in the UFC. That’s not a great place to be.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.