UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes withdrew from her headlining title with Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 213 last night just hours before the event began in Las Vegas due to feeling ill and all the parties involved have since spoken out about the situation.
“Sorry to all my true fans,” Nunes wrote on Twitter after the news broke. “The fight will be rescheduled and I will be back at 100%.”
UFC President Dana White walked reporters through the sequence of events leading to the fight being canceled last night and revealed that Nunes had actually been medically cleared to fight.
“After the [early] weigh-ins she made weight,” White explained at the post-fight press conference. “Leading up to the ceremonial weigh ins I got a call she wasn’t feeling well. It was questionable whether she was going to show up. She does them, she was good. This morning, I hear she’s not feeling well again and she’s probably not gonna fight. I asked the doctor’s what’s wrong, she was medically cleared, they found nothing wrong with her. She just didn’t feel well.
“You can’t make anybody fight. She said, ‘I don’t feel right.’ I think it was 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. A lot of times we’ve had fighters who don’t feel right and other times they’re outright sick. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a situation like today where she was physically capable of fighting.”
White also confirmed after the event that the new plan is to have Nunes fight Shevchenko at UFC 215 in Canada on September 9th, but he’s ruled out the possibility of it being the main event.
“I won’t do that again,” White said of putting the fight in a headlining spot. “I won’t main event that title again.”
Meanwhile, Shevchenko blamed Nunes illness on a botched weight cut, despite White having separately suggested that wasn’t the case.
“Today I am 100 percent ready for this fight,” Shevchenko said in a statement. “During the last three months of training I did everything to be in my best shape for this fight. Nunes couldn’t cut weight correctly and was hospitalized. She wanted to cut weight and recover rapidly to have the advantage,” she wrote. “The end result, everything went wrong. Even though she was medically cleared to fight, she backed out. The fight was originally offered to take place in April and she would not accept then.”