Cain Velasquez has pulled out of his UFC 180 heavyweight championship bout with Fabricio Werdum citing a meniscus injury.
The heavyweight champion’s departure from the main event deals a major blow to the promotion. The November 15 card represented the UFC’s first foray into Mexico. With the Mexican-American heavyweight champion out of the main event, the hype deflates considerably. Theaters across the United States plan to show UFC 180. Given that the featured fighter will no longer be fighting, the UFC may take a bath with this venture into movie theaters.
With the Mexico City card in shambles, the UFC called a Super Samoan to the rescue. Mark Hunt replaces Velasquez to take on Werdum for the interim title. After several lean years, Hunt has revitalized his career with walk-off knockouts of Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson, a fight-for-the-ages draw against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva, and a decision victory over Ben Rothwell. The 40-years-young kickboxer enjoys a 5-2-1 record in the UFC since his promotion debut four years ago.
Hunt’s opponent owns the best Brazilian jiu jitsu in the heavyweight division and victories over Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Silva, and Alistair Overeem. Werdum comes off a dominant stand-up exhibition over Travis Browne.
The main card also features a bout between two constant crowd pleasers, Joe Lauzon and Diego Sanchez, and wrestler Jake Ellenberger takes on undefeated Kevin Gastelum.