The UFC heavyweight division is on hold once again with champion Fabricio Werdum not expected to make the first defense of his belt against Cain Velasquez until March 2016.
The news came courtesy of UFC president Dana White, who revealed during the UFC 191 post-fight press conference that the next heavyweight title fight won’t likely happen for at least another six to seven months from now.
“Unfortunately, this heavyweight division is tied up right now. The fight won’t happen probably until March, the next heavyweight (title) fight,” White revealed. “So we’ll see how this thing plays out and we’ll go from there.”
The heavyweight title has been one of the least defended belts in the entire sport over the past few years.
Between 2011 and 2015, the UFC heavyweight belt has gone up for grabs an astonishing six times in that four-year span, with the title not being defended at all in 2014 and only once in 2011 and 2015 respectively.
Injuries derailed Velasquez for most of his title reign and now it appears time off will do the same for Werdum, who won the belt in June but apparently won’t defend it until about nine months later if the current time table stays true.
Werdum was dealing with some injuries that he expected to keep him out of action for part of the year, but he told FOX Sports as recently as July that he wanted to return in December.
“I took a little time off after my fight because I got some bumps and bruises and also wanted to spend time with my family. I was away from my family for my training and then after the fight did some traveling for the UFC,” Werdum said. “Now I am back to training and feeling good. I would love to fight the first week of December.”
According to White, it was Werdum who requested the rematch with Velasquez get pushed until a few months into 2016.
“That’s when Werdum wants to fight,” White said.
That schedule will push several heavyweight contenders into non-title fights with the championship now held up until at least March.
From the look of things, the heavyweight division will continue to wait while the title sits dormant until next year.
Source : www.foxsports.com/ufc