UFC 216 has suffered a last minute blow just as the event was about to begin with news emerging that the main card heavyweight fight between Fabricio Werdum and Derrick Lewis has been cancelled.
It’s believed that Lewis suffered a recurrence of the back issues that led to him briefly retiring after his last fight with Mark Hunt, before changing his mind and indicating that he was going to continue competing.
During the past week the back pain returned though, and despite making weight yesterday, Lewis woke up today and quickly came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t be able to fight.
UPDATE: Remarkably, despite the exceptionally late notice, the UFC have found a replacement to fight Fabricio Werdum, with Walt Harris agreeing to step in.
Harris was originally assigned to the Fight Pass portion of the event, where he was going to be facing Mark Godbeer, but instead he’s now propelled to the PPV main card to face off against the former heavyweight champion!
As such, Godbeer has now been removed from the card altogether, though no doubt he’ll have been paid his show and win money for his troubles.
Meanwhile, there are still two major title fights headlining the show, with Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee competing for the interim lightweight belt, while flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson attempts to break the record for the most consecutive UFC title defenses ever in the co-main event against Ray Borg.