Cain Velasquez has injured his back and has been forced out of his scheduled heavyweight title fight against champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 196 in February.

UFC officials broke the news on Sunday afternoon.

For Velasquez (13-2), this is yet another major setback to his one promising career. The former champion had previously been forced to sit out for almost two years with a series of injuries, including a torn rotator cuff and meniscus.

As a result, the Werdum (20-5-1) will now put his heavyweight title on the line against the surging Stipe Miocic.

Miocic (14-2) is coming off a blistering 54-second knockout over former champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 195 earlier this month. Prior to this performance, the Cleveland native was seen demolishing former title contender Mark Hunt en route to fifth round TKO. During the bout, Miocic set a UFC record for the most strikes landed in a fight, outlanding Hunt 361 – 48.

UFC Fight Night 196 is currently scheduled to take place on Feb. 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A heavyweight title fight rematch between reigning champion Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez will headline the card.

There is currently no timetable for Velasquez’s return.

UFC Fight Night 196 is currently scheduled to take place on Feb. 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Here is how the rest of the card is shaping up:

  • (c) Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight championship
  • Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky
  • Rafael Cavalcante vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Josh Burkman vs. K.J. Noons
  • Damian Grabowski vs. Derrick Lewis
  • Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer
  • Artem Lobov vs. Alex White
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson
  • Noad Lahat vs. Diego Rivas

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.