First Cain Velasquez pulled out as an contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship due to injury, but now the champion Fabricio Werdum has pulled out for another injury. Without a title or interim matchup, UFC 196 has been downgraded from a pay-per view event to a free event on Fox Sports 1.
Former title holder Velasquez (11-2 UFC) pulled out against current champion Werdum ( 8-2 UFC) citing a back injury, and contender Stipe Miocic ( 8-2 UFC) was to step in as a replacement. But Werdum also pulled out claiming a back and foot injury, so now the Heavyweight Title card has been dropped.
Former Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks (12-3 UFC) will now face Stephen Thompson (6-1 UFC) for the main event. The rest of the main card includes Roy Nelson vs Jared Rosholt, Rafael Calvacante vs Ovince St. Preux, and Joseph Benavidez vs Zach Machovsky. The event will be at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV on Febuary 6 with the first preliminary card starting at 6 p.m. ET, the second preliminary at 8 p.m ET, and the main card at 10 p.m. ET.
Sources: (http://mmajunkie.com/2016/01/after-losing-headliner-ufc-196-shifts-from-pay-per-view-to-fox-sports-1?utm_source=fb-UFC196TOFS1&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebook, http://www.mmanews.com/fabricio-werdum-pulls-out-of-miocic-fight-ufc-196-left-without-main-event/)