It's official: Cain Velasquez is going to have to wait a little while longer for his rematch with UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum.
UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Velasquez has suffered a back injury, and will not be able to compete as planned in February. Replacing him will be the no.2 ranked Stipe Miocic, who arguably earned the next title shot after his devastating KO win over Andrei Arlovski earlier this month.
The event as a whole will proceed as planned, with UFC 196 taking place on February 6. Cain Velasquez will most likely get the next shot at the belt against the winner of Werdum vs. Miocic, depending on the extent of his injury of course.
UPDATE: Cain Velasquez has posted an official statement on Facebook. It reads:
"I'm sure you've heard the news that I won't be able to fight at UFC 196. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am and how I feel I'm letting you all down. I've heard and read all of your messages of support since my last fight and during this camp and for that I thank you.
"Training camp has been difficult for the last few weeks, but sometimes no matter how much the heart and mind want to fight through an injury, healing has its own timeline. We thought we'd get through it, but we had to face the truth that it wasn't going to be OK in time to fight. All of us fighters have all fought injured at one time or another, but I can't ignore this injury, as my doctor has indicated that not addressing the problems with my sciatic nerve could have longer-term consequences.
"My fans deserve to see me compete as close to 100% as possible. I'm committed to giving them that. I'm not going to let my fans down, and I want to make sure I do the right things to ensure a long career.
"Fabricio, I hope that you accept my sincere apology. I understand how you may think this is an excuse. From one professional to another, I can tell you I was committed and looking forward to competing with you again. I greatly respect you as a fighter and man, and we will meet soon.
I will get this taken care of as soon as possible. I will heal and will come back and show you the Cain Velasquez you all deserve to see."