UFC 196 moves off pay-per-view after injuries

Because of a string of injuries, the UFC has been forced to switch broadcast plans for its annual Super Bowl weekend event in Las Vegas.

UFC president Dana White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that UFC 196 on Feb. 6 will no longer air on pay-per-view. The event has been shifted to the promotion's broadcast partner, Fox Sports 1.

A non-title welterweight fight between former champion Johny Hendricks (17-3) and Stephen Thompson (11-1), originally scheduled as the UFC 196 co-main event, will now headline the card and be a five-round fight instead of three.

The event took its first hit last weekend, when former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who was supposed to challenge Fabricio Werdum for the UFC title, withdrew because of an injury. The UFC immediately announced that Stipe Miocic would replace Velasquez, but Werdum pulled out of the matchup the following day because of a back injury.

Werdum (20-5-1) admitted he would have attempted to stay in the fight against Velasquez, but ultimately opted against fighting a new opponent on such short notice with a pre-existing injury. Werdum has stated he could be ready to fight as early as two to three months. Velasquez (13-2) has not offered a timeframe for his return.

UFC 196 will still take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena. In addition to the welterweight headliner, the event will feature a heavyweight fight between Roy Nelson (20-12) and Jared Rosholt (14-2).