Cain Velasquez will no longer fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 207 on Friday, but the former heavyweight champ insists he could have fought.
Last weekend Velasquez quickly made headlines, when it was announced that the Nevada Commission had ruled he was unfit to fight. The decision wasn’t too surprising, however, since Velasquez recently disclosed in an interview that he was planning to have back surgery in early 2017.
On Wednesday, Velasquez posted a lengthy statement on Facebook. Here is an excerpt from it:
First let me say no one is more disappointed about not fighting at UFC 207 than I. Fighting is what I love to do. Unfortunately, circumstances out of my control are forcing me from doing so. I wanted all of you to know the facts surrounding what is keeping me out of the Octagon.
• On December 21st, I gave an interview to ESPN staff writer Brett Okamoto in which I indicated that I had been having some back issues related to my sciatic nerve and the pain it was causing me. I also indicated how I was treating it with a Cannabidiol oral spray which helped with the pain and in combination with cortisone shots allowed me to train at 100% without risk of structural damage to my back. This injury and pain are due to bone spurs, and it is what I had surgery for earlier this year. The pain simply came back due to the nature of regular MMA training and I’ll be having surgery again on January 4th. However, the pain was not going to deter me from fighting as my doctor assured me there would be no further structural damage to my back as a result of my competing at UFC 207.
• The interview alerted the Nevada State Athletic Commission and they contacted me on December 22nd requesting my x-rays. We promptly provided them even though my doctor indicated that the requested x-rays would not show evidence of injury.
Velasquez concluded the statement by saying that although he disagrees with the Commission’s decision, he thanked them for their professionalism. The 34 year-old also conceded that he may have been “too transparent” in his interview, which certainly seems to put things in motion, in terms of Velasquez being pulled.
The AKA fighter also said that he’ll be ready to resume training, and resume his hunt of the belt, a “few short weeks” after his surgery. Here’s hoping Velasquez has a speedy recovery, and can have a busy campaign in 2017. The often injured fighter has fought just twice since 2013.