ByRyan Matsunaga, writer at
MMA fan, BJJ enthusiast, and Executive Publisher at Creators Media.
Ryan Matsunaga

Fabricio Werdum will no longer be able to compete at UFC 196.

Werdum himself confirmed the news earlier today in Brazil.

"I was already injured," Werdum told Brazilian journalists. "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.

"I made this decision together with my team," he added. "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."

Fabricio Werdum added that his injury should be healed in two to three months.

"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."

Yesterday we heard the news that former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez had suffered a severe back injury during training, and would also be unable to compete as planned at UFC 196.

The headlining bout between Velasquez and current champ Fabricio Werdum was supposed to be a rematch to decide the heavyweight championship. After Velasquez made the announcement, no.2-ranked Stipe Miocic stepped in to fight for the title.

Now though, with the current champion sidelined, there is no clear match-up to be made for the event. More than likely, Miocic will now face another top contender for the interim title, to be unified when Werdum is healed. Alternatively, the UFC may choose to scrap the entire heavyweight main event, and find something else to headline UFC 196.


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