The return of heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will take place Saturday at UFC 188 in Mexico City as he fights for the first time since 2013 when he faces interim champ Fabricio Werdum as a massive -550 betting favorite (wager $550 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Velasquez has been recovering from a knee injury following surgery to repair a torn meniscus, while Werdum defeated Mark Hunt via second-round TKO at UFC 180 last November to win the interim title and earn Performance of the Night honors.
Velasquez (13-1) was originally supposed to fight Werdum (19-5-1) in the main event at UFC 180 after the latter won a title eliminator bout against Travis Browne by unanimous decision seven months earlier. The dominant victory by Werdum over Browne was his fifth in a row and eighth in nine fights dating back to his days in Strikeforce.
Both of Werdum’s most recent wins have taken place since Velasquez last entered the Octagon. He was a slight underdog against Browne and is a big +375 dog (bet $100 to win $375) versus Velasquez.
In the UFC 188 co-main event, two top lightweight contenders will also square off with favorite Gilbert Melendez (-185) taking on underdog Eddie Alvarez (+150).
Melendez (22-4) is the former Strikeforce lightweight champ and owns a 1-2 record in the UFC, losing to Anthony Pettis via second-round guillotine choke submission in his most recent bout for the title at 155 pounds last December at UFC 181. However, Pettis has since lost his championship belt to Rafael dos Anjos.
Meanwhile, Alvarez (25-4) previously held the Bellator lightweight title before making his UFC debut against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178 last September, dropping a UD to end his three-fight winning streak.
Fabricio Werdum +375
Cain Velasquez -550
Eddie Alvarez +150
Gilbert Melendez -185
Nate Marquardt +325
Kelvin Gastelum -450
Yair Rodriguez +175
Charles Rosa -225
Angela Hill +230
Tecia Torres -300