The UFC Heavyweight Championship will be on the line on Feb. 6 at UFC 196, with UFC President Dana White letting the date slip on Wednesday for the rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez.
That fight had previously been targeted for March in Brazil, with Werdum hoping to have the bout in a soccer stadium on his home turf, but the plans have changed. Werdum defeated Velasquez in June in Mexico City, submitting the two-time champ in the third round at UFC 188, and was campaigning for the fight in his home country.
The UFC went a different direction, and though the official announcement hasn’t been made, White made the revelation during a random interview during a media day in Las Vegas:
— UFC Total (@UFC_TOTAL) December 9, 2015
Penick’s Analysis: I’m still not sure why the immediate rematch is happening in this case. Velasquez had held the division up for so long with injury as it was, and Werdum defeated him soundly in every facet of the game. A rematch is not a necessity in this case, and unlike with Ronda Rousey getting Holly Holm as the big money fight, this rematch is not going to be any bigger. Heavyweight has not been the marquee division in the UFC for a long time at this point, so it’s just not a fight that as many will be anticipating. Still, it’s set, it’s happening, and it will come in Las Vegas on Super Bowl weekend.
[Cain Velasquez art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]