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Velasquez out of UFC 180 title defense; Werdum vs. Hunt interim title bout on for Mexico City debut




Unfortunately for Mexico City, UFC heavyweight kingpin Cain Velasquez will not defend his title in 2014. It was announced earlier today by that the undisputed champion was forced to withdraw from his title bout against Fabricio Werdum on November 15th due to a knee injury he suffered during training.

Luckily for fans of mixed martial arts in Mexico and all around the world, “The Super Samoan” himself, Mark Hunt, has answered the call. Hunt, who is coming off the third walk off KO of his career, will face Werdum in what will be deemed an interim title bout.

Here’s what Velasquez had to say about this unfortunate turn of events:

“I’m so unbelievably disappointed that this happened,” Velasquez said. “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.”

Everyone’s favorite Kiwi is more than grateful for this moment:

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to fight for another world title. This is something that doesn’t happen often to people. First K1 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. There’s nothing to lose when you’re competing against the best at the top level.”

Here is your new UFC 180: ‘Werdum vs. Hunt’ fight card as it stands today:

• Interim Heavyweight Title Bout: Fabricio Werdum (18-5-1) vs. Mark Hunt (10-8-1)

• Welterweight Bout: Jake Ellenberger (29-8) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (9-0)

• Featherweight Bout: Ricardo Lamas (14-3) vs. Dennis Bermudez (14-3)

• Lightweight Bout: Diego Sanchez (25-7) vs. Joe Lauzon (24-9)

• Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Jessica Eye (10-2) vs. Leslie Smith (7-5-1)

• Welterweight Bout: Edgar Garcia (14-3) vs. Hector Urbina (16-8-1)

• Welterweight Bout: Chris Heatherly (8-2) vs. Augusto Montano (13-1)

• Bantamweight Bout: TUF Latin America Finals (TBD)

• Featherweight Bout: TUF Latin America Finals (TBD)