The co-main event of UFC 203 has taken a major hit.
According to MMA Junkie’s Steven Marrocco on Twitter, No. 5-ranked heavyweight Ben Rothwell has pulled out of his scheduled contest against Fabricio Werdum citing an unfortunate knee injury.
The UFC is reportedly seeking a replacement opponent for Werdum now:
Ben Rothwell has sustained a knee injury and is out of UFC 203. UFC seeking replacement opponent. Story coming to https://t.co/81ChzC22BM.
— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) August 11, 2016
Rothwell (36-10) comes off of a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC Fight Night 86 back in April, he was previously riding an impressive five-fight win streak before suffering the disappointing loss.
Werdum (20-6-1) is fighting to re-enter the title picture after suffering a brutal first round knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in Brazil, dropping his heavyweight strap in his first career UFC title defense.
‘Vai Cavalo’ had previously choked out former champion Cain Velasquez in the third round of their main event meeting at UFC 188, where Werdum secured the undisputed heavyweight throne.
Now it seems Werdum will have to sit back and await a new challenger that the UFC is currently searching for to step in on one month’s notice to face the former champ.
One viable candidate is the former heavyweight king Velasquez who is coming off of an impressive showing against Travis Browne at UFC 200, in which he finished ‘Hapa’ in the first round of the heavyweight contest.
Velasquez would certainly love a shot at redemption against Werdum who took his title away from him, and added insult to injury by doing so in front of his native crowd in Mexico City.
What are your thoughts? Could Velasquez step in on one month’s notice and contend with Werdum for the next shot at the heavyweight title?