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Due to major changes, UFC 196 will now air on Fox Sports 1

What a crazy couple of days it has been for the UFC. The fighting promotion had to cancel their main event plans for their scheduled UFC 196 PPV, which was to take place on February 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, the other matches that were taking place will still be in Las Vegas, but will air on Fox Sports 1 as a UFC Fight Night 82 special.

The main event was supposed to be Cain Velasquez taking on current UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum for the title. Everything started to go downhill when UFC President Dana White announced that Velasquez would be out of the event due to a back injury. He then announced that Stipe Miocic would replace him for the title shot.


Velasquez has struggled with injuries for quite some time. A quick replacement in Miocic would have been fine, as he has proven himself over his last few fights. Unfortunately, it did not end there. Via, Werdum announced that he will pull out of the event with an injury of his own. The champion stated:

“I was already injured. I have a foot injury, and haven’t been able to throw kicks in training for two weeks…I went to the doctor, tried to continue training, but couldn’t spar as I should spar. I decided not to fight because I’m not 100 percent. If Cain was the opponent, I would go on.”

Although the injuries sound legitimate, it is a very strange development to happen right when a new opponent was announced.

Instead of a PPV, Dana White cancelled the original main event, and announced that Fox Sports 1 will carry the fights. The new main event will now be a welterweight bout between former Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks and Stephen Thompson. Another fight to look forward to on that card is Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson. It was previously announced that if Gall was to win, he would be CM Punk’s first UFC opponent. As a result of the change, UFC 197 will now be called UFC 196.

While losing two stars and changing around a PPV is not ideal, I’m sure the UFC will rebound from this. Their next event will feature Conor McGregor and Holly Holm, which is sure to boost the PPV buys they would be losing after the change. The Fight Night special should be great, and I’m sure fans can’t wait to see how the fights will play out.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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