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Cain Velasquez Out Of UFC 207 Rematch With Fabricio Werdum

Cain Velasquez is out of UFC 207 and his rematch with Fabricio Werdum, after the Nevada Athletic Commission(NAC) refused to issue him with a licence to compete.

During the conference call which was used to announce the formation of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association(MMAAA) late last month, Velasquez admitted that he was already scheduled to undergo back-surgery after the Werdum bout. It was a strange admission given how close it came to fight night, but a few weeks later, during an interview with ESPN, Velasquez would reveal even more worrying details about the injury that was forcing him to go under the knife.

“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,” said the former UFC heavyweight champion. “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.”

His words didn’t escape the attention of the NAC.

On Thursday, MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani dispelled reports/rumours that Velasquez had withdrawn from his date with Werdum.

However, he later confirmed that the NAC were seeking further assurances that Velasquez was in shape to compete.

According to Velasquez himself, the NAC received those assurances from his doctor on Saturday.

Unfortunately for Velasquez, who has been plagued by injury in recent years, that was not enough to save the fight. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the NAC had pulled the 34-year-old American Kickboxing Academy representative from the event on Saturday evening.

UFC 207, which takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 30th, is a seriously stacked card and it’s lustre will not be severely compromised by Velasquez’s removal. Still, it is disappointing to lose such a high-profile and eagerly-anticipated bout.

At this point, it is unclear whether or not Brazil’s Werdum will remain on the show.

Werdum and Velasquez were first scheduled to meet all the way back in November of 2014 at UFC 180, but a Velasquez knee-injury forced a postponement. When the pair finally did meet, at UFC 188 in June of the following year, Werdum ripped the heavyweight title from Velasquez via third-round submission in a brutal contest.

A rematch was scheduled for February of this year, at UFC Fight Night 82, but Velasquez was once again forced to withdraw with a back injury.

Author: The PA Team

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