Derrick Lewis injury cancels UFC 216 fight

LAS VEGAS – Just minutes before UFC 216 was slated to begin, a key matchup was pulled from tonight’s lineup, but all is not lost.

Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) suffered a last-minute injury and was forced to withdraw from his heavyweight showdown with Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) on tonight’s card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

It’s believed Lewis’ previously injured back flared up on him this week. He made weight Friday without issue but realized today he wouldn’t be able to fight through the back pain.

As a result, Walt Harris (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who was previously scheduled to fight Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), steps in on last-minute notice to face Werdum. Godbeer is off the card.

Lewis was set to return following a fourth-round TKO loss to Mark Hunt in June. After that fight, Lewis said he’d injured his back in training camp and suffered through the fight. He was also visibly in pain as he walked back to the locker room that night. Lewis announced his retirement to the shock of many after the loss.

But that was set to end tonight vs. Werdum. The former champion was hoping an impressive performance against “The Black Beast” would propel him back to a title shot.

Lewis’ training camp was disrupted for roughly two weeks as he endured Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath in his hometown of Houston.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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