Just 24 hours after Cain Velasquez pulled out of his UFC 196 headlining heavyweight title rematch with champion Fabricio Werdum, now Werdum is out with injury. Velasquez was quickly replaced by Stipe Miocic for the February 196 event in Las Vegas.
Now it is uncertain whether the co-main event of Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson will move up to the main event or if a replacement for the Miocic fight will be announced.
According to MMAFighting.com:
“I was already injured,” Werdum told Brazilian journalists on Monday. “I have a foot injury, and haven’t been able to throw kicks in training for two weeks. 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.”
“I decided not to fight because I’m not 100 percent,” he continued. “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.”
Werdum says he’s “still confused” about everything that happened.
“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.”
The Brazilian says he’s down to fighting in “two or three months”, and is open to facing Velasquez or Miocic.
“It took me a long time to get here and win this belt, be the champion, to throw everything away because I’m not 100 percent,” Werdum said. “I have to think about everything now, I can’t think and act like I did when I was 20. It’s not like that anymore. Everything changed. I’m 38 now and I feel I’m at the best moment of my career, and I can’t risk my career because of pride.”