With just nine days to go until UFC 207, where former heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum are set to have a highly anticipated rematch for the heavyweight #1 contender spot, many fans will likely be shocked to hear that Velasquez is dealing with a pretty significant injury.
During his training camp for the fight, Velasquez revealed that he was already scheduled to undergo back surgery just five days after the fight. With that being said, no one could have guessed the severity of the situation.
Velasquez divulged the information to ESPN:
“It’s an achy pain that goes down your leg, and it gets to a point where if you’re standing for 10 minutes, you have to sit down. If you’re going out for a while, a half-hour, you know it’s going to be pretty painful. You have to sit down and take the compression off your back.
“The surgery is basically shaving off some bone to make room for my sciatic nerve. After the last surgery, the doctor said I might be pain-free forever, but knowing how I train and what I do as a fighter, the pain could come back. I didn’t really know how long I was going to feel good. It ended up being about a year.”
The one thing that helps the former champ? Cannabidiol Oil, which Velasquez takes via oral spray in order to manage his pain. Earlier this year before undergoing surgery Velasquez turned to the compound to ease his pain. When the pain resurfaced during his training camp for Werdum, Velasquez knew it was the smartest route once again:
“It’s the only thing that allows me to still train, and I’m not taking a harmful painkiller into my body that I’ll later become addicted to,” Velasquez said. “I don’t know how everyone is going to feel about me saying this, but this is just one of the hard facts we as fighters have to go through. In the past, in the NFL, players have gotten addicted to painkillers. I don’t want to be an addict of some sort.”
“As far as preparation, I’ve done everything,” Velasquez said. “I’ve sparred, wrestled. I’m not missing workouts at all. I’ve done my conditioning — everything. I feel great going into this.”
While some may see the situation as an excuse, Velasquez remains adamant that he will emerge from the fight victorious.
In addition, it is important to mention that Velasquez revealed that he will discontinue his use of CBD Oil one week out from the fight in order to stay in compliance with USADA’s policy, despite the fact that CBD Oil is not banned out-of-competition, meaning theoretically he could take the oral spray up until 6 hours before weigh-ins.