The news just broke that Cain Velasquez is out of his heavyweight fight with Fabricio Werdum. The fight was scheduled to take place at UFC 207 on December 30. This leaves the UFC scrambling to find a replacement for Werdum or scratch the bout entirely.
Stefan Struve was the first UFC heavyweight to throw his name out there. Struve is scheduled to fight Junior Dos Santos in February, so he’s already been training.
If they need anyone for 207 next week, I can do new years in Vegas.. My xmas eve dinner wasnt to crazy so should be able to make 266 😏 @ufc
— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) December 24, 2016
This also means that Dos Santos has been training and he could be a potential opponent for Werdum.
The Black Beast Derrick Lewis could also be an option. It’s no secret that he wasn’t happy with his last performance against Shamil Abdurakhimov 2 weeks ago. Him vs Werdum would be a real test for Lewis on where he is in the division. He is scheduled to fight Travis Browne in February, but he could still step up on short notice. After Werdum’s thrashing of Travis Browne (and kicking Coach Edmund) I doubt Browne would be so eager to step up.
Francis Ngannou is taking on Andrei Arlovski in January. Either opponent could be a suitable replacement. Arlovski actually beat Werdum in 2007, making a revenge fight another feasible possibility. Werdum would also like that match too, I’m sure.
Overeem isn’t the kind of guy who will take a fight on short notice and he’s already scheduled to fight the always dangerous ‘TBA’ on March 4. There may be the chance that the UFC gives Mark Hunt what he wants in a contract and he accepts this fight with Werdum.
Josh Barnett, Alexander Volkov, and Ben Rothwell could all be suitable replacements, depending on their status with medical suspensions or the willingess to take a short notice fight.