Illness forces Heath Herring to withdraw from UFC 99 bout against Cain Velasquez on June 13

Mixed martial arts veteran Heath Herring has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 99 bout against undefeated heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez, scheduled for June 13 from the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, as reported by MMA Fanhouse.

According to the report, Herring has been battling an illness for weeks and has been unable to train.

"The Texas Crazy Horse" has not seen action since a unanimous decision loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 87: "Seek and Destroy" back in August 2008. He sustained a serious eye injury during the fight, which required him to remain on the sidelines for several months.

Herring has had mixed results since joining the promotion in early 2007, losing three fights and winning two. He has gone the distance in all five of those contests. A big win over a rising star like Velasquez would have gone a long way in re-establishing him as a top talent.

Now Velasquez is left without an opponent -- though the timing is a bit coincidental.

Former UFC and PRIDE heavyweight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic announced yesterday (May 18) that he will return to the UFC on June 13 against Mustapha Al-Turk -- who was already set to face undefeated American Top Team (ATT) heavyweight Todd Duffee, who fights out of the famous London Shoot gym in the United Kingdom.

With Duffee and Velasquez both needing a date for the big show, it would make sense to have them hook 'em up rather than scramble for last-minute replacements.

Then again, that's merely speculation on my part.

Velasquez most recently mugged Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17 for a round and a half en route to a second round technical knockout victory. It marked just the first time that a Velasquez opponent has made it out of the opening frame.

The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) disciple revealed after the fight that he was disappointed with the dominating performance and vowed to come back better than an ever in his next appearance. Who that appearance will be against remains to be seen.

Stay tuned.

For the latest on UFC 99, including rumored match ups, check out our event archive right here.

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