UFC 213 has been hit with a huge blow just hours before the gates open at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as news emerges that Amanda Nunes has had to pull out of her latest bantamweight title defense against Valentina Shevchenko.
The Brazilian champion was feeling ill during fight week and was in hospital earlier today ahead of her fight according to MMAfighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, which led to her being forced out of the fight.
As such, the interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker that was originally scheduled to feature as the co-main event will now be bumped up to serve as the main event of the evening.
At this stage it’s not clear which of the preliminary card fights will now also be promoted to the main card to make up the numbers alongside the other PPV bouts that includes Fabricio Werdum Vs Alistair Overeem III, Curtis Blaydes Vs Daniel Omielanczuk and Anthony Pettis Vs Jim Miller.
UFC 213 was already shaping up to be not quite the huge blockbuster event that the UFC had been originally been hoping for earlier in the year to celebrate International Fight Week in Las Vegas, and recently suffered another blow when Robbie Lawler Vs Donald Cerrone had to be removed due to an injury.
Still, by the sounds of things Nunes shouldn’t be out of action for long, so the rematch between the Brazilian star and Shevchenko will probably be rescheduled for UFC 215 in September (UFC 214 will surely be ruled out due to already having three title fights booked).
Dana White told the L.A. Times Lance Pugmire that Nunes was cleared to fight today by a doctor, but she didn’t feel well enough to compete.