UFC 207 has just lost a high-profile bout.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has deemed Cain Velasquez “unfit to fight” and has not granted him a license as a result. The former two-time heavyweight champion will therefore not compete on this weekend’s PPV against Fabricio Werdum.
Earlier this week, Velasquez revealed to ESPN that he has been suffering from back pain cause by vertebral bone spurs that pinch his sciatic nerve. The pain runs down his right leg and makes it difficult for him to stand up for longer than ten minutes.
“It's an achy pain that goes down your leg, and it gets to a point where if you're standing for 10 minutes, you have to sit down,” Velasquez told ESPN.com. “If you're going out for a while, a half-hour, you know it's going to be pretty painful. You have to sit down and take the compression off your back.”
Despite the condition, Velasquez said he managed to complete a full training camp, including sparring, and was fully prepared for the bout. He has also been taking CBD oil to ease the pain and had surgery scheduled five days after the fight.
NSAC executive director Bob Bennet spoke to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani about the issue and why Velasquez will not be allowed to fight on Saturday night.
“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,” Bennett said.
“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.”
The UFC has not announced whether or not Werdum will remain on the card to fight a short-notice opponent.