Despite a report on Thursday that Cain Velasquez was out of his scheduled UFC 207 bout with Fabricio Werdum, the former heavyweight champ said he is “in shape and ready to go.”
That’s not to say there wasn’t some concern about Valesquez’s participation on the Dec. 30 pay-per-view event.
Velasquez conducted an interview with ESPN.com in which he revealed an issue with his sciatic nerve that he had already scheduled a surgical procedure to repair following the fight. He also mentioned the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) instead of pain killers to deal with the pain while training.
CBD is not banned out of competition, so Velasquez’s use shouldn’t be an anti-doping issue as long as he ceased usage soon enough that it won’t show on his drug screen the night of the fight.
The sciatic nerve issue and surgery, however, were a red flag.
It’s actually a problem that Velasquez has had in the past. He has bone spurs that put pressure on his sciatic nerve, which causes pain in his leg. He had surgery earlier this year when he was having pain in his left leg. That fixed the issue for several months, but the pain returned, this time in his right leg.
It’s not an extensive surgery, but a procedure that he went ahead and scheduled for after the fight.
“The surgery is basically shaving off some bone to make room for my sciatic nerve. After the last surgery, the doctor said I might be pain-free forever, but knowing how I train and what I do as a fighter, the pain could come back,” Velasquez told ESPN. “I didn’t really know how long I was going to feel good. It ended up being about a year.”
Though he’s not sure whether it was the UFC or the Nevada Athletic Commission, or both, that expressed concern about his back, Velasquez told MMAFighting.com on Friday that the UFC asked him to get further clearance from his doctor to prove he would be ready to fight next week.
Confident that he wouldn’t have an issue getting further clearance, Velasquez said, “It’s going to be an easy process, definitely. I’ve been working out now for two months, doing everything: wrestling, sparring … I’ve been throwing out stuff on social media to show that I am ready.
“He’s going to look me over and give me the green light and then call the UFC and do the same there.”
So, unless things go awry with Velasquez’s doctor, he will be ready to fight Werdum next Friday at UFC 207 in Las Vegas.