Werdum-Velasquez rematch delayed until March 2016 – UFC boss

Nissi Icasiano
Werdum-Velasquez rematch delayed until March 2016 – UFC boss
UFC president Dana White says Werdum is not ready to defend the gold-plated strap later this year and personally requested to delay the fight

MANILA, Philippines – While the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has already announced that ex-heavyweight titleholder Cain Velasquez will get a rematch against current division champion Fabricio Werdum, their second encounter will not take place until March 2016.

According to UFC president Dana White, Werdum is not ready to defend the gold-plated strap later this year and personally requested to delay the heavyweight championship clash against Velasquez.

“The fight won’t happen probably until March,” he said during the post-UFC 191 press conference on Sunday, September 6. “That’s when Werdum wants to fight.”

The UFC head honcho was responding to a question about former heavyweight kingpin Andrei Arlovski’s viability in the title pecking order after picking up a decision victory over another ex-champion Frank Mir. (READ: Johnson scores lopsided decision against Dodson in rematch)

“Unfortunately, this heavyweight division is tied up right now,” White stated. “We’ll see how this thing plays out and go from there.”

Werdum (20-5-1) submitted Velasquez with a third-round guillotine choke this past June to capture the UFC heavyweight belt.

Aside from winning the gold-plated strap, the 38-year-old Brazilian is also riding high on a 6-fight winning streak, including notable triumphs over Roy Nelson, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Travis Browne and Mark Hunt.

In the other corner, Velasquez (13-2) bagged the heavyweight title for the second time against Junior dos Santos in December 2012 via unanimous decision and successfully defended it twice before losing the belt to Werdum.

Injuries have limited Velasquez’s activity in recent years. The showdown with Werdum was the 33-year-old Mexican-American’s first Octagon appearance since October 2013 when he scored a fifth-round stoppage of Dos Santos in a rubber match. – Rappler.com

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