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Stipe Miocic camp responds to Fabricio Werdum injury: A true champion shouldn't pick and choose opponents

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Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

In what has been a wild and crazy series of events that greatly affected the the upcoming UFC 196 pay-per-view (PPV) event -- which is set for Feb. 6, 2016 -- Fabricio Werdum pulled out of his last-minute fight against Stipe Miocic with a back injury just one day after Cain Velasquez did the same for his scheduled fight against "Vai Cavalo."

And while it didn't take long for Team Miocic to offer up a response on the unfortunate news, what seems to bother the camp most is that Werdum was seemingly game to fight through his injury had Velasquez done the same and remained on the card.

But, according the the interpretation of this article, Werdum decided he wouldn't do the same for Miocic.

"I decided not to fight because I'm not 100 percent," he continued. "If Cain was the opponent, I would go on. It's not his fault, it's nobody's fault. Injuries happen. You can't avoid them. I have no option. I made this decision because I'm not feeling 100 percent."

That prompted Greg Kalikas to vent his frustrations to MMA Fighting via text, saying he didn't think it was right for "Vai Cavalo" to pick which opponents he would be healthy enough to fight against.

"We're extremely disappointed to hear that Werdum is pulling out of the fight. If he's [Werdum is] healthy enough to defend against Cain, we can't understand why he's not healthy enough to fight Stipe, who would only have 12 days to prepare for him as it stands. A champion shouldn't pick and choose opponents. A true champion fights all comers. If he won't fight Stipe with a short camp, are we supposed to believe he'd fight Stipe coming off a full training camp? No, he wouldn't ... and that's a bad look for the supposed best heavyweight on the planet. All we can hope is that Werdum 'heals' up quick and will agree to fight Stipe sooner rather than later."

According to Ali Abdelaziz -- Fabricio's manager -- Werdum's comment was not translated correctly, and adamantly declared that his client would be willing to fight anyone if healthy, and that he wasn't downplaying Stipe's worth as an opponent.

Which leads one to believe that the UFC 196 Heavyweight title fight -- regardless of who was scheduled to fight who -- was likely doomed either way.