Werdum, Cain both pull out of UFC 196
Published on Tuesday, 1/26/16, at 5:31 a.m. Eastern.
Less than 24 hours after Cain Velasquez pulled out of UFC 196 due to a back injury, current heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum did the same. When Velasquez was forced to withdraw Sunday only 13 days before the show at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC scheduled Stipe Miocic to face Werdum for the belt.
However, that plan deteriorated Monday when Werdum also withdrew, citing injuries to his foot and his back. As of Tuesday morning, the UFC was mum on who would fight in the main event, but the promotion will have a major problem selling pay per views if the current co-main event, Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, is upgraded to the headliner.
Werdum sparked controversy Monday when he indicated that he wasn’t going to pull out if Velasquez was the opponent.
Miocic responded with this tweet below.
To be honest I wouldn’t want to fight me either you guys.
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) January 25, 2016
There doesn’t appear to be many options for the UFC. If Alistair Overeem was willing to, he could face Miocic for the interim belt. The co-main event for this week’s UFC on FS1 Fight Night in Newark features a pair of highly-ranked heavyweight contenders in Josh Barnett and Ben Rothwell. However, yanking one of those heavyweights off the card seems like an unlikely scenario.
The UFC’s most willing fighters to step up at any time include Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, Chael Sonnen and Benson Henderson. But Sonnen is retired and still suspended, while Henderson’s contract just ran out. Cerrone is scheduled to face Tim Means at next month’s main event for a Fight Night show in Pittsburgh.
We’ll probably get some answers to this situation later today.