Cain Velasquez was looking forward to avenging his loss to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 207 but was pulled from the pay-per-view at the last minute after failing a medical test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Velasquez, a former two-time heavyweight champion, admitted in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that he could barely stand up straight for 10 minutes and was using CBD oil to help ease the pain.
Velasquez protested the decision and claimed to be healthy enough to fight, but the NSAC were adamant with their ruling and refused to take the risk.
UFC president Dana White thinks the commission made the right call and says that ‘there is no way in hell that guy should be fighting right now.’
“Read the (ESPN) interview. It doesn’t sound like he wants to fight to me,” White said at a UFC 207 media scrum on Wednesday, per Shaun-Al Shatti of MMA Fighting. “When you’re a fighter, and you do an interview days before a fight and say you can’t stand for 10 minutes, that’s insanity. First of all, this is the best organization in the world for fighting. He’s fighting one of the best fighters on Earth, and that fights last 15 minutes.”
“His doctor said get a surgery, he was dealing with pain, which is completely normal for the injury,” White said. “He was dealing with pain and he was just going to have the surgery after the fight. What he didn’t say is, ‘I can’t stand for 10 minutes. I can’t do this.’ And even (UFC executive) Jeff Novitzky was there, said he was having trouble standing up and sitting down at the doctor’s office. So there’s no way in hell that guy should be fighting right now.”
Velasquez made a statement on social media, apologizing to the fans and insisting that he was still healthy enough to fight. The 34-year-old said he probably revealed too much about the circumstances of his injury but commended the NSAC for their professionalism.
The UFC did not find a suitable replacement for Werdum and the Brazilian was quickly removed from tomorrow night’s PPV.
UFC 207, which features a women’s headlining bout between Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey, takes place on Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.