Cain Velasquez Pulled From UFC 207

Written by Tom Ngo
December 24th, 2016

UFC Cain Velasquez

As the old adage goes, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” The rumor mill had been grumbling for the past few days that Cain Velasquez (pictured) was not going to be able to keep his appointment with Fabricio Werdum at UFC 207.

Velasquez assured everyone that his back, which he’s scheduled to have surgery on January 4, was perfectly fine and that he would be inside the cage for next Friday’s rematch.

Yeah, about that…

According to ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto, the Nevada Athletic Commission, the governing body sanctioning UFC 207, will not medically clear Velasquez to fight:

This is apparently news to Velasquez:

The UFC has yet to confirm Velasquez’s status for the December 30 show.

Velasquez was taking a big gamble by not only entering the fight with an injury, but letting his bad back be known to the man who upset him last year to take his heavyweight title. However, Velasquez was hellbent on avenging the shocking submission loss and was not willing to pull out of yet another scrap.

Velasquez revealed this week that he had turned to cannabidiol (CBD) to relieve back pain that is now shooting down his right leg. The 34-year-old uses the spray – which is not a banned substance under the UFC’s anti-doping program during out-of-competition testing, but is during the in-competition window (six hours prior to weigh-ins through six hours after the fight) – because it’s a safer route than taking synthetic pain killers that are addictive.

After Velasquez made his back issues public, the UFC requested Velasquez obtain further clearance from his doctor to compete. Velasquez was scheduled to meet with his physician today, and apparently things didn’t go as planned.

Velasquez’s impending surgery will shave down bone spurs that have developed in his spine in order to make room for his sciatic nerve. It’s a procedure very similar to the one he underwent in February.

It is unknown if Werdum will be paid his show money.

T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas hosts the festivities.

Here is the show’s revised agenda:

Preliminary Card:

(UFC Fight Pass 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)

Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means

Brandon Thatch vs. Sabah Homasi

(Fox Sports 1 8PM ET/5PM PT)

Mike Pyle vs Alex Garcia

Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Marvin Vettori

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Dong Hyun Kim

Johny Hendricks vs. Neil Magny

Main Card:

(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)

Louis Smolka vs. Ray Borg

TJ Dillashaw vs. John Lineker

Cody Garbrandt vs. Dominick Cruz (UFC bantamweight champion)

Ronda Rousey vs. Amanda Nunes (UFC bantamweight champion)

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