The rematch fight fans have clamoured for has a date and a place as Fabricio Werdum makes the first defence of his UFC heavyweight title against the man he won it from, former two-time champion Cain Velasquez, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Werdum, who was originally scheduled to face Velasquez at UFC 180 in November of 2014, instead faced Mark Hunt and won the interim heavyweight belt. Finally, at UFC 188 in June, Werdum and Velasquez met in the Octagon, Werdum winning the undisputed crown via third-round submission. Now the 38-year-old hopes to close the chapter on his rival, while Velasquez attempts to join Randy Couture as the only fighters in UFC history to win the heavyweight championship three times.
In other UFC 196 fights made official Saturday, striking superstar Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will engage in the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts career when he takes on former UFC welterweight champion Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, who is seeking to make his case for a shot at regaining his belt in 2016.
Plus, Roy “Big Country” Nelson faces Jared Rosholt in heavyweight action; popular heavyweight knockout artist Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis takes on “The Polish Pitbull,” debuting Damian Grabowski; longtime welterweight standout Josh Burkman makes his lightweight debut against KJ Noons; and veterans Mike Pyle and Sean Spencer meet up in a welterweight matchup.
With these fight additions, UFC 196 now looks like this:
Fabrício Werdum (c) vs. Cain Velasquez
Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson
Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt
Josh Burkman vs. KJ Noons
Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer
Derrick Lewis vs. Damian Grabowski