UFC 196 may now be in danger of cancellation, as MMAFighting.com reports that UFC Heavyweight Champ Fabricio Werdum is pulling out of UFC 196 due to injury.
This news comes a day after an opponent switch to Stipe Miocic after challenger Cain Velasquez pulled out due to injury, and leaves Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson as the top remaining card.
Werdum was slated to make his first ever defense of that Heavyweight Championship after capturing it from Velasquez last June, but that will be pushed out. As of now there’s no further information regarding his injury.
Penick’s Analysis: This is crushing for a pay-per-view event, and the UFC will have to put serious consideration into either cancelling the event or trying to move it to free television. It’s not a pay-per-view worthy event any longer, and arguably was questionable to begin with given how unnecessary the rematch between Werdum and Velasquez was. What’s left on this card is just not something the UFC can sell as a pay-per-view event, and unless they pull something crazy out on two weeks notice, that won’t change.
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This article has been updated to correct the timing on the bout as two weeks out instead of three.