Cain Velasquez’s prime years have been ravaged by injury, and it hit him once again this weekend to take him out of next month’s UFC 196 main event. The former UFC Heayvweight Champion put out a statement expressing his disappointment on Facebook Sunday night after the news broke, and he explained that, while he tried to fight through it, the injury was too much to deal with.
Here’s his statement:
I’m sure you’ve heard the news that I won’t be able to fight at UFC 196. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am and how I feel I’m letting you all down. I’ve heard and read all of your messages of support since my last fight and during this camp and for that I thank you.
Training camp has been difficult for the last few weeks, but sometimes no matter how much the heart and mind want to fight through an injury, healing has its own timeline. We thought we’d get through it, but we had to face the truth that it wasn’t going to be OK in time to fight. All of us fighters have all fought injured at one time or another, but I can’t ignore this injury, as my doctor has indicated that not addressing the problems with my sciatic nerve could have longer-term consequences.
My fans deserve to see me compete as close to 100% as possible. I’m committed to giving them that. I’m not going to let my fans down, and I want to make sure I do the right things to ensure a long career.
Fabricio, I hope that you accept my sincere apology. I understand how you may think this is an excuse. From one professional to another, I can tell you I was committed and looking forward to competing with you again. I greatly respect you as a fighter and man, and we will meet soon.
I will get this taken care of as soon as possible. I will heal and will come back and show you the Cain Velasquez you all deserve to see.
Velasquez’s loss to Fabricio Werdum last June was his first fight since October of 2013, and now he’ll be delayed even further.
Penick’s Analysis: This is hugely unfortunate for Velasquez. It’s such a significant setback, and robs him of yet another few months of his career at best. How he comes back from this is anyone’s guess, but it’s now unlikely to be in a title fight with Werdum.
[Cain Velasquez art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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