Cain-Werdum rematch off at UFC 207
Published on Sunday, 12/25/16, at 11:11 a.m. Eastern.
The UFC 207 rematch between former heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum is off.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto first reported the news on Christmas Eve.
Velasquez, the two-time heavyweight kingpin who lost his title to Werdum at UFC 188 by third-round submission in Mexico City, has openly discussed a back injury that’s been causing him pain and will likely cause him to have surgery in January.
In fact, he admitted this past week that he’s been using CBD oil to manage pain during this training camp (and others in the past).
To be clear, Velasquez did not pull out of the fight. The NSAC will not grant him a licence. The Commission released the following statement below:
“Based on medical records, interviews and the best judgment of Chairman Anthony Marnell, attorney general J. Brin Gibson, the executive director’s office and our physicians, in an effort to protect the health and safety of the athletes, it’s been determined Cain Velasquez is unfit to fight,” the NSAC said in a statement.
“The financial incentive for fighters to compete is strongly compelling, and it is the responsibility and obligation of this commission to intervene when excessive risks are evident,” the NSAC said. “It’s obvious Mr. Velasquez is physically compromised and competing would place him in significant physical risk.”
Velasquez was a -220 favorite at most books. Many blamed the altitude for his loss to Werdum, who was fighting for the second time in Mexico City and had spent a month of his training camp down there preparing for Velasquez, who didn’t show up in Mexico City until a week before the bout
Stefan Struve, who is currently scheduled to face Junior dos Santos, has offered up his services as a replacement to face Werdum.