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Velasquez Injured, Out Of UFC 180

ufc 180

A knee injury has forced UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez out of a planned November title defense vs. Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180.

In place of Velasquez-Werdum, officials have tabbed Mark Hunt vs. Werdum for the interim heavyweight title.

Velasquez suffered a right knee injury in training and will not be able to headline the first UFC card to take place in Mexico. The event goes down November 15 from Mexico City.

“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.”

Werdum is coming off a win over Travis Browne that kept him in his role of No. 1 contender that he secured with a victory last year over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

“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,” Werdum said. “I’ll continue to prepare and will arrive ready to fight on behalf of all my Latin American fans.”

Hunt returns to the Octagon after knocking out Roy Nelson in Japan over the summer. He was near the top of the pecking order before a loss to Junior dos Santos.

“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?” Hunt said. “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.”

19 COMMENTS
  • hindsightufuk says:

    wow, how much worse can this year get for injuries? this is just crazy

    Love Hunt and i’ll be rooting for him, but on short notice i don’t like his chances

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I like Hunt as well but he only has one chance here and it isnt a great one. But huge applause for stepping up against a very tough guy with three weeks notice. I am sure not many HW fighters would want to face Werdume under these circumstances.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Not only is this a huge blow for UFC, potentially the biggest PPV they had is now not going to reach the levels they expected without their biggest Mexican star at the helm of it. It’s also a blow for the UFC, and a boost for Bellator, since they are still counter programing with Tito main eventing a free card. Before I figured UFC had it since it was first ever Mexico card, with the biggest Mexico name in MMA right now, but that’s all gone.

    I also wonder if this wont be the beginning of the end for Cain, this will put him to almost 2 yrs outside of the octagon right?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Cain last fought a year ago, and depending on how bad this knee injury is yes he may be out up to two years.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    what, fucking Joe Lauzon is out as well? anyone confirm this?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Yep read about that last night, so far it is an unconfirmed rumor but most likely true.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    wow, gutted, i was looking forward to that fight more than any on the card

  • Dufresne says:

    This sucks. The card isn’t completely devoid of interesting fights, but I was really looking forward to seeing Cain get back to it and of course Lauzon v Diego could have been a solid candidate for fight of the year. Oh well, the Werdum v Hunt fight could be really entertaining, but I see it going to the ground early instead of it being a slug fest like I’m hoping. It should still be a decent card, but it’s a bit of a letdown from a potentially amazing card.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Have either of you been watching tuf Mexico? Just wondering if the finals have anything worth looking forward to

  • Dufresne says:

    I’ve got them recorded on the DVR, and I’ve watched a couple episodes. The drama is the same bullshit as the previous seasons, but the fights are pretty decent.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Holy shit now Deigo Sanchez is injured and out of any fight. Crazy turn for such a good card.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Injuries will always be part of an MMA and it obviously sucks, but on a somewhat related note the ongoing theme to me is that as MMA becomes an increasingly popular/relevant pro sport, the champions will peak at/before age 30, and if they’re fortunate enough to still be holding the belt at the 30 threshold they might as well start planning their fall from grace.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I don’t think it’s really age, more that MMA is becoming more popular so fresh people are coming up who are better and know more/different things then the people in front of them. But it’s always been like that too

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Well it happens in every other pro sport too, and there aren’t exactly new tricks being kicked up in those other sports that have been around for several decades.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I mean, when Lebron James’ gradual descent begins a couple years from now is that going to be cuz there’s some new playground tricks making their way into the league that he aint up with, or that age (more specifically, the wear & tear from countless hours of training, injuries, etc.) is catching up with him?

  • Richard Stabone says:

    But yes, with MMA up until fairly recently you didn’t have that huge wave of fresh talent constantly pushing the old guard out, and so the truly skilled MMA’ers could hang around longer. But as MMA has taken hold as a legitimate *thing* and more & more kids get into it & stick with it from earlier ages, that has shaken things up for the old guard.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    As another side note, who’s had the bigger rise from the ashes during their career: Matt Brown or Mark Hunt?

  • Dufresne says:

    As another side note, who’s had the bigger rise from the ashes during their career: Matt Brown or Mark Hunt?

    That’s a pretty good question. I didn’t think Hunt would last in the UFC for more than 2 fights and now he’s fighting for the (interim) belt. And I thought Brown was done when he lost three in a row and went 1-4, and now he’s solidly placed near the top of one of the most stacked divisions. I guess Hunt has gotten further career wise since he’s got a shot at the belt, but he did it in a much thinner division. I think that’s a coin toss.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would have to go with Hunt here, as he started off good but lost something like 11 in a row, then wham he is in a UFC title fight- not that he does not deserve it he has earned it for sure- Brown was always pretty good just didnt put it together for a bit.

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