Yet another 2014 main event matchup has been scratched. The UFC just announced that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has suffered a right knee injury during training and has been forced to withdraw from his championship title defense against Fabricio Werdum in UFC 180.
“I’m so unbelievably disappointed that this happened,” Velasquez said. “To say I was looking forward to fighting in Mexico for the first time is an understatement. I wanted to fight on that card so bad. Looks like it wasn’t meant to be and it’s not going to happen. I’m going to get my [right] knee fixed and get back to training as soon as I can. I’m sorry to the fans in Mexico who were expecting this fight, and I hope to be able to come down and still be a part of this historic event.”
As a result, the UFC has replaced Velasquez with No. 4 heavyweight contender Mark Hunt, who last scored a sweet KO victory over Roy Nelson in Fight Night 52. On the interim heavyweight title shot, Hunt remarks:
“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to fight for another world title. This is something that doesn’t happen often to people. First K1 and now UFC – how can I say no, even though it’s on short notice? I’m dropping everything and flying to Mexico tomorrow so I can best prepare myself for this fight. I have to get into shape and acclimatize to that environment, which is really important.
“There’s nothing to lose when you’re competing against the best at the top level,” Hunt added.
Mark Hunt is slated to face No. 1 heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum. Werdum has won 7 of his last 8 fights, going 4-4 in the UFC with wins over Roy Nelson, Mike Russow, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Travis Browne. He claims that his pursuit is for the heavyweight title, not Cain Velasquez.
“I’m ready for whatever comes. I have been training in Mexico for nearly two months and accept the challenge that is presented to me. I’ll continue to prepare and will arrive ready to fight on behalf of all my Latin American fans,”
For those who have bought a ticket and would like a refund, you can request a refund on October 28 to November 7, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CT.