The UFC announced Tuesday that Werdum will step in for Mark Hunt to fight Marcin Tybura (16-2) in the main event of UFC Sydney on Nov. 18. Hunt was removed from the card due to medical concerns, apparently stemming from a piece regarding his health that he wrote for the Players Voice in September.
“Following a recent first-person article published by heavyweight Mark Hunt, the UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia,” a UFC official said, per the Daily Telegraph’s Nick Walshaw.
“The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims. Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organization and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organization will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”
Hunt was not happy with the change.
Werdum (22-7-1) fought this past Saturday at UFC 216 in Las Vegas, Nev., dispatching of Walt Harris in just 65 seconds with a first-round armbar submission. Harris had stepped in as a last-second replacement for Derrick Lewis, who was forced to withdraw from the bout with a back injury just hours before his scheduled fight.
UFC Fight Night 121 takes place at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.