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The UFC makes its first stop in Mexico with a card battered by injuries, but will have three key bouts in three key weight classes. At the top of the ledger is an interim UFC heavyweight title bout between Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt. Hunt is filling in on late notice for the injured Cain Velasquez, but the two arrive at this position having both redeemed themselves from low spots in their careers.

Will Werdum finally put UFC gold around his waist or is Hunt's improbable run to the top set to continue? I answer these questions and more with my predictions for Saturday's fights.

What: UFC 180: Werdum vs. Hunt

Where: Arena Cuidad de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

When: Saturday, the two-fight Fight Pass card starts at 7 p.m. ET, the Fox Sports 1 main card starts at 8 p.m. and the five-fight pay-per-view card kicks off 10 p.m.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt

Hunt's made a career, literally, out of defying expectations. If that Cinderella story is to continue, he's going to have to overcome a hell of a lot. He's taking the fight on short notice, has to lose a ton of weight, is competing at high altitude and appears to be having problems at home. That's not a recipe for success. Technically, I wouldn't say he's in over his head, at least not early. He'll be able to stuff any clinch attempts or level changing takedowns from Werdum. But once he starts to tire, that's going to open the flood gates. Werdum can strike from the outside both to maintain distance and to punish you. He's also got one of the most underrated clinch games in the sport. As Hunt's ability to move and evade fades, I expect Werdum to pour it on him. How the fight ends, I'm not so sure. But there are just too many factors in Werdum's favor to pick against him.

Pick: Werdum

Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum

The wind just appears to be at Gastelum's back. And for whatever reason, Ellenberger's been really quiet in the lead up to this fight. I haven't seen him in any of the UFC Embeddeds nor has he done a lot of media. That has nothing to do with technical ability per se, but it's rare to see him shelved in such a way. In a case, the problem here is going to be Gastelum's proactive offense. I just don't see how Ellenberger pushes back long enough to win two of three rounds. Ellenberger has enough power to sleep anyone in the weight class, but Gastelum's chin is also more than sturdy. I won't be surprised if, in the end, Ellenberger proves me wrong. It's not like he's some overmatched welterweight. But unless he takes the fight to Gastelum right away, I'm afraid the fight will slip through his fingers.

Pick: Gastelum

Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez

Bermudez is favored to win, something I don't take much issue with. His improvement is undeniable. He's somehow maintained his ferocity all while making his defense respectable and his offense as strategic as it is potent. Still, I wonder if Lamas will be able to slow Bermudez down to a halt. It's not the prettiest game plan, but it's certainly well within Lamas' ability. It's not as if Bermudez is easy to control, but Lamas is superb - when he wants to be - at putting the pressure on. If this bout is exciting, it's because Bermudez is winning. If it's boring, it's because Lamas is using his various forms of control. The complexion will tell you a lot about who is really making it their fight.

Pick: Lamas

Augusto Montano vs. Chris Heatherly

Montano is absolutely not good, but neither is Heatherly. Worse, Heatherly succumbs to pressure fighters. If nothing else, that's what the Mexican is. Either way, neither of these fighters are what is traditionally understood to be UFC caliber.

Pick: Montano

Edgar Garcia vs. Hector Urbina

This Garcia's second run in the UFC after the first one saw him go winless back in 2009. Urbina, by contrast, is a regional-level fighter. I understand why both are on this card given the UFC's event location. And to be fair, Garcia is respectably well rounded. He's also faced legitimate competition. Yet, he doesn't have any signature talent, at the UFC level, anyway. There's nothing about his game that really stands out. The trick, though, is that he makes fewer mistakes than Urbina.

Pick: Garcia

From the preliminary card:

Yair Rodríguez def. Leonardo Morales
José Alberto Quiñónez def. Alejandro Pérez
Jessica Eye def. Leslie Smith
Gabriel Benítez def. Humberto Brown
Enrique Briones def. Guido Cannetti
Marlon Vera def. Marco Beltrán