Cain Velasquez Forced Out Of UFC 196, Replaced By Stipe Miocic

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez (13-2), is out of UFC 196.

According to MMAjunkie, UFC officials cited a back injury as the cause of Cain’s removal from his much-anticipated rematch against current UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1).

Velasquez will be replaced by Stipe Miocic (14-2), who is currently riding a devastating win over another former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski (25-11-1).

Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic will replace Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC 196 (Photo by David Mariuz/Getty Images)

Stipe – who was once told by UFC President Dana White that he would not get a title shot until he was more popular – took to Twitter to voice his support for his upcoming title shot.

In a long and emotional Facebook post, Cain apologized to his fans.

“I’m sure you’ve heard the news that I won’t be able to fight at UFC 196. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am and how I feel I’m letting you all down. I’ve heard and read all of your messages of support since my last fight and during this camp and for that I thank you.”

The former champion went on to say that while he and his team wanted to fight through his injury, they “had to face the truth that it wasn’t going to be OK in time to fight.”

Velasquez ended his post by apologizing to Werdum.

“Fabricio, I hope that you accept my sincere apology. I understand how you may think this is an excuse. From one professional to another, I can tell you I was committed and looking forward to competing with you again. I greatly respect you as a fighter and man, and we will meet soon.”

Injury has unfortunately been no stranger to Cain. Throughout his MMA career, Velasquez has been sidelined with a torn rotator cuff, knee injury, torn meniscus, and sprained MCL.

Cain is also a member of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), which has a reputation for hard training. Last year, Dana White criticized the famous MMA training facility, calling it a “stone age” gym where guys “go to war every day.”

Velasquez going through some grueling training at AKA (Photo by Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)
Velasquez going through some grueling training at AKA (Photo by Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)

AKA is currently the home of Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier (17-1), and Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold (15-2).

Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum last met on June 13, 2015 at UFC 188 in Mexico City. At the time, Velasquez reigned as the heavyweight champion while Werdum held the interim heavyweight championship.

Though Cain, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico, had the hometown advantage, the stars were not aligned in his favor that night. He tired surprisingly quick, allowing Werdum to maintain dominance throughout much of their three-round battle.

Halfway into the third round, Velasquez shot in for a double-leg takedown but left his neck out too far. Werdum capitalized on his opponent’s rookie mistake, wrapping his arm around Cain’s neck and securing a victory via guillotine choke.

There is no telling what was responsible for Cain’s unusually poor performance that night. His trainer, American Kickboxing Academy’s Javier Mendez, blamed it on Mexico City’s high altitude.

Ring rust may have also played its part, as Cain had not fought for two-and-a-half years before UFC 188.

Unfortunately, fans will only be able to speculate on whether Werdum’s win over the former champion was a fluke or not.

UFC 196 will kick off on February 6, from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Besides the headlining match between Werdum and Miocic, the event will also feature former Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks (17-3), who will be fighting to end the five-fight win streak of Stephen Thompson (11-1).

No news yet on when Cain will be able to fight next, but he assured fans on his Facebook page that he would “come back and show you all the Cain Velasquez you deserve to see.”

[Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images]

Share this article: Cain Velasquez Forced Out Of UFC 196, Replaced By Stipe Miocic
More from Inquisitr