According to heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell, Cain Velasquez got exactly what he wanted when he was pulled from UFC 207 and a scheduled bout with old rival Fabricio Werdum by the Nevada Athletic Commission(NAC) over the weekend.
Velasquez was removed from this Friday’s line up due to concerns over his fitness, concerns that arose after the former UFC heavyweight champion admitted that he had already scheduled back surgery for after the bout and that he was using Cannabidiol to alleviate pain during training.
These admissions, claims Rothwell, were part of a deliberate ploy from the American Kickboxing Academy representative to get out of the fight without having to withdraw himself.
“People are also surprised Cain got pulled and that baffles me because it’s not surprising at all,” Rothwell recently told Duane Finley of FloCombat. “He started saying all that sh*t in public knowing he’s going to get pulled. Telling the commission you’re doing marijuana to manage pain and your back surgery is already scheduled is a surefire way to tell them you’re not fit to fight. But that’s pretty convenient because now it doesn’t look like Cain pulled out and it’s the commission who wouldn’t let him fight.”
“Cain going public with all that sh*t two weeks before a fight is evidence he didn’t want to fight. Don’t sit there and tell me you’ve been in this business for that many years and don’t f*****g know how this works. You obviously needed them to pull you out of the fight.”
Rothwell, who suffered a second-round stoppage defeat to Velasquez back in 2009, also spewed some venom in the direction of Velasquez’s erstwhile foe, Werdum, who he is angling to fight sometime in 2017.
“I definitely want the [Fabricio] Werdum fight,” said the 35-year-old. “He talks a ton of sh*t but never has anything to say to me. He talks sh*t to Junior [dos Santos] and other people, but I think they believe the best way to disrespect me is to just to ignore me. I’m sitting over here like, ‘No…you’re just a f****g p*ssy. You won’t acknowledge me because you’re a f*****g p*ssy.”
It’s unlikely that such a fight would interest Werdum right now. Shortly after news of Velasquez’s withdrawal emerged, ‘Vai Cavalo’ told MMAFighting that he was looking toward a rematch with Stipe Miocic, the man who ripped the heavyweight crown from his head earlier this year. At present, the Brazilian is ranked at number one in the UFC’s official heavyweight rankings, so that fight seems like a genuine possibility.
Rothwell currently sits at number five in the UFC rankings. The Wisconsin bomber lost a decision to Junior dos Santos in his last outing, in April, but prior to that he had won four straight fights, all inside the distance. That stint included impressive wins over Alistair Overeem and former champion Josh Barnett.