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26th Dec 2016

UFC 207 main card loses massive fight but there’s an understandable reason

Real shame

Patrick McCarry

We would have loved to see this fight but it will have to wait until 2017.

If you were caught up with all things Christmas for the last few days, you may have missed the drama surrounding one of UFC 207’s main card fights.

Cain Velasquez was due to face Fabrício Werdum in a battle of the UFC heavyweight division’s former champions. Unfortunately, the Nevada State Athletics Commission has stepped in at the 11th hour to see that the bout does not go ahead.

Cain Velasquez Media Workout

NSAC explained the decision not to grant Velasquez a fight licence in a statement to ESPN, who broke the story. The statement reads:

‘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.’

Last week Velasquez told reporters that he was having issues with his sciatic nerve (in his back) but was willing to fight through the pain. The NSAC did not believe it was worth the risk.

Interestingly, the UFC’s statement on the matter did not complain about the NSAC decision. It merely stated the fact that Velasquez-Wedrum is off the card but highlighted that 10 bouts will proceed the main event between women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and former title holder Ronda Rousey.

As for Werdum, he is now calling on the UFC to give him a crack at UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic next year.