In many ways, UFC 180 was booked to showcase Cain Velasquez and his awe inspiring abilities, but unfortunately for the heavyweight champ it wasn’t meant to be. The renowned fighter was forced to withdraw from his bout with Fabricio Werdum due to a knee injury, and according to Velasquez, the decision to do so was devastating.
Velasquez recently appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and while discussing the injury, the 32 year-old relayed (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“And when I finally realized that I can’t do it, it’s just not working for me, it just sucked,” said Velasquez, while talking about his eventual decision to withdraw from the bout. “It felt like something was destined, you know what I mean. Like, this is where I’m destined to be, I’m destined to fight on this card, and it just didn’t turn out that way. So it was just kind of devastating to me.”
As you likely know, Velasquez’s father is Mexican, and as a result, the champion has long looked forward to fighting in Mexico where UFC 180 will be held. During the segment, Velasquez also noted that he’s not worried about whether his body can endure the stress of MMA training. Velasquez has fought just twice now since 2012.
Due to the champ’s withdrawal, the UFC has tapped Mark Hunt to face Werdum for an interim title, as Velasquez hasn’t fought since last October when he took out Junior dos Santos.
After saying he is fine with the UFC’s decision to put up an interim belt, Velasquez offered this take on the new headliner.
“I think Mark Hunt just has that knockout power, and that’s pretty much it,” Velasquez said. “I think Werdum, with his length, also if it goes to wrestling, if it goes on the ground, Werdum has it. I think on the feet, with the power that Hunt has, I think he has a good chance of winning it there. But I think that’s pretty much it.”
Pretty hard to argue with that, but in one way, that’s what makes the fight so compelling. Can Hunt pull off the upset win? And complete his amazing comeback story? Will Werdum, whose stand-up is also really good, risk trading with Hunt? We shall see soon enough.
UFC 180 will be hosted by the Mexico City Arena and will be broadcast throughout North America via pay-per-view.