Stipe Miocic’s team is none too pleased with Fabricio Werdum pulling out of UFC 196, despite saying he’d have fought through his injury had Cain Velasquez remained the opponent.
Miocic posted a comment to Twitter saying, “To be honest I wouldn’t want to fight me either you guys,” and his manager Greg Kalikas voiced his frustrations in an interview with MMAFighting.com.
“We’re extremely disappointed to hear that Werdum is pulling out of the fight,” Kalikas said. “If [Werdum is] healthy enough to defend against Cain, we can’t understand why he’s not healthy enough to fight Stipe, who would only have 12 days to prepare for him as it stands.
“A champion shouldn’t pick and choose opponents. A true champion fights all comers. If he won’t fight Stipe with a short camp, are we supposed to believe he’d fight Stipe coming off a full training camp? No, he wouldn’t… and that’s a bad look for the supposed best heavyweight on the planet. All we can hope is that Werdum ‘heals’ up quick and will agree to fight Stipe sooner rather than later.”
Penick’s Analysis: It’s an unfortunate spot for Miocic to find himself in, because he goes from getting the opportunity he’s been clamoring for to having it taken away in less than a day. He’s got a right to be upset and frustrated over that, but at the same time Werdum’s making the right decision for him and his spot at the moment. We still don’t know what’s going to happen with UFC 196 at this point, and it’s possible an Interim Title could be brought into the mix here as well, but for now it’s frustration for Miocic and his camp.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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