If you’re a Cain Velasquez fan, your Christmas Eve was likely dealt a significant blow this year. As Santa Clause geared up for another trip around the planet, we learned that the former heavyweight champion had been pulled from his planned UFC 207 bout with fellow former champ and recent foil Fabricio Werdum.
In the buildup to his planned bout with Werdum, Velasquez made no secret of the fact that he was dealing with an injury. In fact, Velasquez even admitted that he had back surgery scheduled for mere days after the fight. Despite this injury, however, he claimed that he had every intention of fighting, and apparently, even got the OK from his doctor to do so.
Was just cleared by Dr 30 mins ago and then he conferenced the Nevada Athletic Commision and spoke to them and recleared me with them.
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) December 24, 2016
Unfortunately, The Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t feel like playing ball with Velasquez on this one. Despite his doctor’s giving him the green light, the NSAC refused to grant the former champ a license, calling him “unfit to fight.”
In a statement acquired by ESPN, the NSAC elaborated on their choice to remove Velasquez from his planned bout with Werdum. That statement reads as follows:
“Based on medical records, interviews and the best judgment of Chairman Anthony Marnell, attorney general J. Brin Gibson, the executive director’s office and our physicians, in an effort to protect the health and safety of the athletes, it’s been determined Cain Velasquez is unfit to fight. The financial incentive for fighters to compete is strongly compelling, and it is the responsibility and obligation of this commission to intervene when excessive risks are evident. It’s obvious Mr. Velasquez is physically compromised and competing would place him in significant physical risk.”
The UFC also released a statement in the wake of Velasquez’s removal from the UFC 207 bill. It reads as follows:
“Saturday afternoon, UFC was informed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Cain Velasquez is unfit to fight. As a result, the former two-time heavyweight champion has been removed from his Dec. 30 bout against Fabricio Werdum at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. UFC 207, which is headlined by the women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey, will proceed with 10 bouts.”
As the UFC’s statement explains, Werdum will not be given a replacement opponent, and UFC 207 will proceed with just 10 fights.
Do you think Velasquez should have been allowed to compete? Sound off, PENN Nation!