Cain Velasquez, the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion, injured his right knee during training and has been forced to pull out of a scheduled title defense against Fabricio Werdum in the main event of UFC 180 on Nov. 15 in Mexico City.
Mark Hunt will step in for Velasquez and fight Werdum for the interim title.
The event will be the organization’s first in Mexico, something Velasquez had worked for since before he won the belt.
“I’m so unbelievably disappointed that this happened,” Velasquez said in a statement. “To say I was looking forward to fighting in Mexico for the first time is an understatement. I wanted to fight on that card so bad. Looks like it wasn’t meant to be, and it’s not going to happen. I’m going to get my knee fixed and get back to training as soon as I can. I’m sorry to the fans in Mexico who were expecting this fight, and I hope to be able to come down and still be a part of this historic event.”
Velasquez last fought in October 2013. He suffered a shoulder injury in a win over Junior dos Santos and was finally ready to make his return.
Hunt is coming off a knockout win over Roy Nelson on Sept. 20 in Tokyo.