UFC 180: Mark Hunt Replacing Injured Cain Velasquez, Will Battle Fabricio Werdum for Interim Title
By FCF Staff
The line-up for UFC 180 has undergone a major change, as the promotion has announced that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is withdrawing from the November 15th card due to a knee injury.
As a result, Mark Hunt will step in for Velasquez and will battle Fabrcio Werdum for an interim heavyweight title at the event, which will take place in Mexico City.
“I’m so unbelievably disappointed that this happened,” Velasquez said in the official announcement. “To say I was looking forward to fighting in Mexico for the first time is an understatement. I wanted to fight on that card so bad. Looks like it wasn’t meant to be and it’s not going to happen. I’m going to get my [right] knee fixed and get back to training as soon as I can. I’m sorry to the fans in Mexico who were expecting this fight, and I hope to be able to come down and still be a part of this historic event.”
Hunt (10-8-1) is coming off a knockout win over Roy Nelson in September, after battling Antonio Silva to a draw last December. The feared striker is currently ranked #4 in the UFC heavyweight division.
“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to fight for another world title,” Hunt said. ” This is something that doesn’t happen often to people. First K-1 and now UFC – how can I say no, even though it’s on short notice? I’m dropping everything and flying to Mexico tomorrow so I can best prepare myself for this fight. I have to get into shape and acclimatize to that environment, which is really important.”
Werdum has locked up a title shot thanks to a four fight winning streak, which includes wins over Travis Browne and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Velasquez hasn’t fought since October, 2013, when he stopped Junior dos Santos in the fifth round.