UFC 196’s former main event — Fabricio Werdum defending his heavyweight title against former champ Cain Velasquez — was unceremoniously scrapped after Velasquez was once again injured in camp and had to pull out of the fight. In stepped the hungry Stipe Miocic, the fighter next in line and hot off a first round knockout over Andrei Arlovski. Dreams would come true at UFC 196, only they wouldn’t — Werdum pulled out of the fight the very next day, telling MMA Fighting:
I was already injured. I have a foot injury and haven’t been able to throw kicks in training for two weeks. I would still fight Cain because I was injured the last time, but I also hurt my back last Friday. I went to the doctor, tried to continue training, but couldn’t spar as I should spar. I decided not to fight because I’m not 100 percent. If Cain was the opponent, I would go on. It not’s his fault. It’s nobody’s fault. Injuries happen. You can’t avoid them. I have no option. I made this decision because I’m not feeling 100 percent.
Does this mean that Werdum thinks Miocic is a tougher opponent than Velasquez? Not judging by this tweet:
That’s a solid burn thrown at the Ohio firefighter. But he responded in kind:
The truth is somewhere along these lines: Werdum would’ve taken the Velasquez fight because Cain is a big draw, and the PPV buys of a Werdum/Miocic PPV with a relatively weak undercard simply wouldn’t sell. Couple that with Werdum’s supreme confidence in defeating Velasquez once again, and we have UFC 196 free on FS1!