Fighters

Cain Velasquez Out of UFC 207, Werdum Pulled From Event

Cain Velasquez

Cain Velasquez won’t be fighting at UFC 207.

The former two-time UFC heavyweight champion was declared unfit to fight on Saturday by the Nevada Athletic Commission. In an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting, executive commissioner Bob Bennett confirmed Velasquez’s removal:

“Based on the medical records, interviews with Mr. Velasquez and best judgment of our chairman, chief representatives, executive director and physicians, and to protect the health and safety of the fighter, we’ve determined Mr. Velasquez is unfit to fight.”

Rumors of Velasquez being pulled from the event surfaced after the fighter admitted last week that he will be undergoing back surgery five days after UFC 207. Velasquez also told media that he has been suffering severe back and leg injuries in training camp and that he has been using cannabidiol oil to ease the pain. Velasquez has undergone a total of seven surgeries during his MMA career and last February, a similar back injury forced him to pull out of a fight with Fabricio Werdum. But despite his current state, Velasquez confidently told ESPN last week that he was good to go for UFC 207:

“I’ll be fine. I’m getting a cortisone shot. I’ll be 100 percent, no problem. I’m doing two-hour practices now on my feet. I’m good, and I will be good.”

The NAC, though, thinks that Velasquez may be too tough for his own good. Added Commissioner Bennett:

“It’s obvious Mr. Velasquez is physically compromised and that would place him at significant physical disadvantage in the fight. Therefore, we’ve gone ahead and suspended his license due to medical reasons.”

As a result, his fight with Werdum is off for a second time. Werdum meanwhile was reportedly offered an opportunity to fight a replacement opponent and is said to have turned it down:

 

Dos Santos didn’t just claim that Werdum turned down the fight. He also previously said that he already said yes to subbing in for Cain:

The winner of Velasquez vs Werdum would have had a good chance of getting the next title shot as would the winner between the UFC Fight Night 105 main event between dos Santos and Stefan Struve. But now that Velasquez-Werdum is off, the winner of the Halifax event will have the inside track to fight Stipe Miocic next. Dos Santos and Struve are the only two fighters to beat Miocic and that will be make for a good storyline for Miocic’s next bout. As for Werdum, he’s coming off a win over Travis Browne and is ranked higher than both dos Santos and Struve but we still vividly recall how Miocic knocked him Werdum out cold in his own backyard.

 

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