Updated – Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum both out of UFC 196


Update: MMAFighting are reporting that Fabricio Werdum is also injured and has pulled out of his rescheduled UFC 196 title defence against Stipe Miocic. It is not known at this time if the UFC will decide to fight a new opponent for Miocic.

It was more bad news for injury-plauged heavyweight Cain Velasquez overnight as news broke that he was forced out of this championship bout with Fabricio Werdum on February 6th at UFC 196. UFC President Dana White confirmed on Twitter that a back injury was Velasquez’s latest setback and also that Stipe Miocic would replace him against Werdum.

For Velasquez it’s another in a litany of injuries which have wrecked his career over the past few years. The two time champion has had shoulder, knee and now back problems which have only allowed him to fight six times since 2011.

Miocic, a former college baseball star, has shot into the heavyweight elite in recent times with wins over the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski who he beat last time out. Currently ranked number 2 in the official heavyweight rankings, many thought Miocic was deserving of the title shot instead of Velasquez getting a rematch so was the obvious choice to step in here on short notice having also only fought for 54 seconds in his January 2nd bout with Arlovski.

Werdum, though, will be by a distance his toughest task to date.

UFC 196 takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on February 6th, stay tuned to SevereMMA.com for all updates.




Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma

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