The UFC announced on Tuesday that Fabricio Werdum has replaced Mark Hunt in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Sydney.
Days after Fabricio Werdum dealt with a last-minute opponent switch, the former UFC heavyweight champion is himself playing the role of short-notice replacement.
UFC officials announced on Tuesday that Mark Hunt has been removed from his main event fight vs. Marcin Tybura “due to medical concerns,” and that Werdum will instead take on the Polish fighter in Sydney, Australia.
Werdum (22-7-1) fought on the main card of UFC 216 last Saturday, submitting Walt Harris in just 65 seconds. The 40-year-old was scheduled to fight Derrick Lewis, but Lewis withdrew on fight day due to injury, and Werdum instead agreed to fight Harris just hours before the main card began. Tybura (16-2) is on a three-fight winning streak, most recently besting Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision at UFC Singapore in June.
If you’re curious as to the “medical concerns” that led to Hunt’s removal from the event, Australia’s The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the UFC made its decision following a column penned by Hunt on the Players Voice website. In that article, Hunt admitted that he was “starting to stutter and slur my words,” and that his “memory is not that good anymore.”
The UFC’s statement to The Daily Telegraph is as follows:
“Following a recent first-person article published by heavyweight Mark Hunt, the UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia.
“The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims. “Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organisation and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organisation will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”
UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura airs live on Fox Sports 1 from the Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday, November 18th (Sunday morning, November 19th in Australia).