A featured heavyweight fight on the UFC 216 main card has been cancelled just minutes before the event was set to begin.
Derrick Lewis was pulled from the card after a lingering back injury flared up on Saturday, which forced UFC officials to scrap his fight against Fabricio Werdum.
With Lewis injured, Walt Harris offered to step up from the preliminary card and face Werdum at UFC 216. Both fighters accepted and now Werdum vs. Harris will face off on the pay-per-view portion of the card.
Lewis’ management team told MMAWeekly.com that the heavyweight was in tremendous shape, but his back seized up on him on Saturday morning, which forced him to pull out of the fight at UFC 216.
Lewis had dealt with the same injury ahead of his last fight with Mark Hunt but he went through training camp without any problems. Unfortunately, Lewis’ back flared up again on Saturday and now he’s unable to fight.
With Harris moving onto the main card to face Werdum, his Early Prelims opponent, Marc Goddard, was left without a fight. UFC 216 is left with 11 bouts.