Complications continue for the main event of UFC 196 as heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum pulls out of the bout.
News broke on Sunday night that former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez withdrew from his title fight with Fabricio Werdum due to a back injury. Velasquez was replaced by #2 ranked contender Stipe Miocic, who was promised a title shot after his latest victory—a 54-second knockout of former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
Last night, it was announced that Werdum also withdrew from the bout due to an injury. The heavyweight champion, who holds submission wins over both Cain Velasquez and Fedor Emelianenko, spoke to MMAFIghting saying that he was injured before Velasquez withdrew and was planning on continuing with the fight anyway until Miocic stepped in.
"I was already injured. I have a foot injury, and haven’t been able to throw kicks in training for two weeks,” Werdum said. “I would still fight Cain because I was injured the last time, but I also hurt my back last Friday. I went to the doctor, tried to continue training, but couldn’t spar as I should spar.
“If Cain was the opponent, I would go on. It’s not his fault, it’s nobody’s fault. Injuries happen. You can’t avoid them. I have no option. I made this decision because I’m not feeling 100 percent.
"I made this decision together with my team," he said. "We decided not to fight. Cain can’t fight. I was going to hide the injury one more time, like I always did. I tried to hide it, but couldn’t this time. I can’t fight if I’m not 100 percent to put on a show like I always did."