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Fabricio Werdum not medically cleared for next PFL fight, card reshuffled

More woes for the former heayvweight champ as he’ll need additional time on the shelf.

Fabricio Werdum’s fight with Renan Ferreira was ruled a No Contest.
Hard times for the heavyweight grappling king.
Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

PFL’s upcoming event for June 25th is taking a significant hit.

The card was set to feature former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1-1) in his return after a very controversial loss in his last outing, a result that was overturned to a no-contest. While he was scheduled to return against Brandon Sayles, that is no longer the case.

A statement was issued that partially explained the situation and shed some light on how bad thing were for Werdum withdrawing. From MMA Fighting:

According to the statement released by Rayssa Kussama, Werdum’s PR rep in Brazil, the fighter’s neurologist, Dr. Wuilker Knoner Campos, did tests after the Ferreira fight and decided not to allow the former UFC champ to return to training due to swelling in the brain.

Werdum also added his desire to do what was best for his health and portrayed some optimism for a quick turnaround.

“I’ve hidden many injuries to be able to fight when I was in my 20s, but now I need to prioritize my health and listen to the [doctor],” Werdum stated in the release. “I want to be able to enjoy my daughters and see them growing, and that’s the right thing to do at the moment. I’m fine, and I’ll be able to return to training soon.”

It remains unclear as to how Werdum will continue to earn points to continue in the season, and there’s no timeline for recovery or training as of yet. MMA Fighting also notes that Werdum’s manager Ali Abdelaziz did not respond to a request for comment.

But that’s not the only heavyweight fight that got axed. Mohammed Usman (7-2) is also out due to injury and will be unable to participate in the event. Seeing as how this is the last change to get into the playoffs, it almost guarantees that both Werdum and Usman are out of the running for the million dollar jackpot. A no-contest granted Werdum one point, but Usman’s loss in early May left his score at zero.

For their part, Usman and Werdum’s scheduled opponents — Brandon Sayles and Denis Goltsov, respectively — will now be scheduled to face each other on that same card. This event is scheduled to be headlined by Olympian and last year’s PFL champ Kayla Harrison against Cindy Dandois.

For now, the card looks like this:

Kayla Harrison vs Cindy Dandois - Lightweight

Ali Isaev vs Renan Ferreira - Heavyweight

Denis Goltsov vs Brandon Sayles - Heavyweight

Bruno Cappelozza vs Muhammed De’Reese - Heavyweight

Larissa Pacheco vs Olena Kolesnyk - Lightweight

Genah Fabian vs Julija Paji - Lightweight

Ante Delija vs Hatef Moeil - Heavyweight

Taylor Guardado vs Laura Sanchez - Lightweight

Kaitlin Young vs Mariana Morais - Lightweight

PFL #6 takes place June 25th and is scheduled to start at 5:30pm EST, the event will be broadcast on ESPN+ and ESPN2.