Now Fabricio Werdum Is Out of UFC 196 Too
Seems like UFC just can’t catch a break. UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum has sustained an injury, and will not be able to compete against Stipe Miocic at UFC 196 on February 6 in Las Vegas.
This is the latest in a series of unlucky breaks for UFC, and this main event in particular. This was originally scheduled to be a title rematch between Werdum and former champ Cain Velasquez. However, Cain sustained a serious back injury, and had to be replaced by No. 2 contender Stipe Miocic. But now, just one day after Dana White announced Werdum/Miocic, Werdum is down with an injury himself. And it was apparently a nagging injury he’d been trying to cover up.
“I was already injured,” Werdum told Brazilian journalists in an interview 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.”
However, Werdum’s interview appears to refute claims that he’s simply ducking Miocic, or looking to push back the fight in order to have more time to prepare for the entirely new opponent.
“I decided not to fight because I’m not 100 percent,” declared Werdum. “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 would go on to explain the process behind his team’s decision to pull out.
“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.”
Granted, Werdum doesn’t plan on remaining on the shelf long, stating that he’s up for fighting either Velasquez or Miocic in “two or three months”.
This is an unfortunate break for UFC, to be certain. But I think this has the potential to open up the top of the card by having Miocic defend his No. 1 contendership against a hungry fighter, perhaps someone like Jon Jones. I don’t know if Werdum being out for three months is enough to justify creating an interim championship, but I’d be surprised if Dana White wasn’t in panic mode trying to find a new main event for his big show. I suppose we’ll see what the solution to this problem is soon enough, since it’s not like there isn’t going to be some sort of main event for UFC 196. The show must go on, for better or worse.
Who should Miocic fight at UFC 196 now that Werdum is injured? Sound off in the comments!