UFC 213 just underwent a major shakeup at the eleventh hour. A sudden illness with Amanda Nunes has forced the women’s bantamweight champion off the UFC 213 card. Nunes had been expected to defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko at the event. However, the UFC released a statement Saturday stating that “Due to illness, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has been removed from her UFC 213 title defense against Valentina Shevchenko.”
According to further reporting by MMA Fighting, Nunes fell ill this morning and was taken to hospital. Unfortunately, with the event taking place this evening at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, a replacement could not be cleared for Shevchenko. That means she’s off the card as well.
The fight had been eagerly anticipated, with the UFC hosting a special panel of female fighters earlier in International Fight Week to highlight the strides women have made in the sport.
Interestingly, strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk offered to jump up in wait to save the fight, however NAC executive director Bob Bennett has gone on record as saying it’s too late for anyone to step in.
Per NAC executive director Bob Bennett, it would be too late at this point to replace Nunes with anyone. #UFC213
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) July 8, 2017
As a result of Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2 being cancelled, the interim middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero has been promoted to the main event of UFC 213.
Looks like our staff picks are down a fight. Check back later this evening for full coverage of the event on Cageside Press!