The fight card for Saturday night’s UFC 216 in Las Vegas took a significant hit just hours before the main card was set to begin, with it being announced by UFC announcer Jon Anik that the heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum and Derrick Lewis has been called off.
The reason for the cancellation of the fight was a back injury for Lewis, with the severity of the injury not revealed. As a result of the cancellation, Werdum will now fight Walt Harris on the main card.
Confirmed that tonight's Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum fight has been canceled. Lewis' back continues to give him issues. Couldn't move this AM and in lots of pain. Tried to fight through it this week. UFC 216 proceeds with 11 fights now.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 7, 2017
Werdum, ranked second in the heavyweight division, has a record of 21-7-1 but entered UFC 216 having lost two of his prior three fights. Werdum’s most recent bout occurred in UFC 213, with Alistair Overeem winning by majority decision. Lewis, who’s 18-5-0 with one no contest in his career to date, is ranked sixth in the division and was looking to get back in the winner’s circle after losing to Mark Hunt via fourth round TKO at UFC Fight Night Aukland in June.
Prior to that defeat, Lewis was on a run of six consecutive victories.
The biggest fight on the UFC 216 card is the lightweight bout between No. 2 Tony Ferguson and No. 7 Kevin Lee, with the winner possibly becoming one of the available options for Conor McGregor whenever he makes his return to the octagon. A two-division champion in his career, McGregor left the octagon for the boxing ring this summer as he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in late August.
Also on the main card for UFC 216 is the flyweight bout between Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg, the women’s bout between Mara Romero Borella and Kalindra Faria, and the lightweight bout between Beneil Dariush and Evan Dunham.