Fans are patiently waiting on the edge of their seats for UFC 188 and ever so hoping that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will finally make his long-awaited and highly-anticipated return to the Octagon. The event is set to go down on June 13, 2015 from Mexico City, with Velasquez making his first title defense in over a year and a half, his last fight being a five-round demolition of former champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 166 in October 2013.

The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product was set to make his return last November at UFC 180 in the UFC’s first trip to Mexico City against top contender Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum, but another knee injury set the champion back once again. Due to his lengthy layoff, the UFC decided to replace Velasquez with Mark Hunt, and have Hunt and Werdum fight for the interim heavyweight title.

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“Vai Cavalo” went on to score an ultra-impressive knockout victory over the veteran kickboxer Hunt and become the interim champion. Having always possessed a world-class ground game, Werdum has recently fine-tuned his striking under highly touted coach Rafael Cordeiro, making him a true threat in the heavyweight division. The Brazilian has won his last five bouts and could offer the champion a challenge come fight night.

Velasquez on the other hand, hasn’t lost since 2011 and has looked dominant in the process. Possessing a well-rounded skillset and a relentless pace, the champion has the potential to be one of the best of all time if his health can hold up. It is yet to be seen what form of the champion will show up after such a lengthy layoff, but it looks as if these two are finally going to settle the score and unify the belts in Mexico City.

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In the co-main event of the evening, two former lightweight champions will collide in the form of No. 4-ranked Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez and No. 9-ranked Eddie Alvarez. Melendez held the Strikeforce lightweight title, but is only 1-2 since making the jump over to the UFC in 2013. However, two of those bouts have been title fights and his one win came over Diego Sanchez in a “Fight of the Year” candidate back in 2013.

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Alvarez held the Bellator lightweight title and was considered to be one of the best fighters outside of the UFC. However, he was thrown to the wolves in his UFC debut, being matched up with the surging Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 178 in September. Alvarez was battered by vicious leg kicks and dropped a unanimous decision. Both men will look to redeem themselves come fight night and once again become relevant in the 155-pound rankings.

As UFC 188 approaches, check out the extended preview below courtesy of the UFC:

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