The anticipated UFC 216 pay-per-view (PPV) card later tonight (Sat., Oct. 7, 2017) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, just lost one of its premier matchups with hours to spare.
According to multiple reports, Derrick Lewis has been removed from his main card tilt opposite former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum after sustaining a back injury that was too painful to fight through.
Confirmed that tonight's Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum fight has been canceled. Lewis' back continues to give him issues. Couldn't move this AM and in lots of pain. Tried to fight through it this week. UFC 216 proceeds with 11 fights now.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 7, 2017
"I can't move," Lewis wrote in a text to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. "I’m feeling the same pain in my back that I felt before the Mark Hunt fight."
As a result of the Werdum vs. Lewis fallout, Walt Harris, who was expected to fight Englishman Mark Godbeer on the preliminary undercard, will step up and fill in for “Black Beast” against Werdum.
Jon Anik announces Fabricio Werdum will face Walt Harris on the #UFC216 main card tonight. Harris was supposed to face Mark Godbeer.— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 7, 2017
While UFC 216 will go on with two title fights in tact, this is a huge blow to the PPV portion of the event. Lewis successfully made weight yesterday, but has apparently been battling two bulging discs in his back since losing to Hunt via TKO back in June.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 216 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.