Champ Amanda Nunes out; main event scrapped
LAS VEGAS» Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes was scratched from her title defense against Valentina Shevchenko after being hospitalized Saturday a few hours before UFC 213.
The UFC cited “illness” in its statement.
Yoel Romero’s interim middleweight title bout against Robert Whittaker became the main event of the pay-perview show at T-mobile Arena, although the UFC also offered ticket refunds to fans.
After Nunes was hospitalized, UFC president Dana White said 115-pound champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk lobbied him to give her a late-notice fight against the 135-pound Shevchenko.
The Nevada Athletic Commission would never allow such a thing, but Jedrzejczyk and Shevchenko already fought each other three times in muay thai competition during their martial arts careers.
Nunes (14-4), a Brazilian fighting out of Florida, claimed the 135-pound belt from Miesha Tate last July. After Nunes violently stopped Ronda Rousey in December, she was scheduled to make her second title defense in a rematch of her March 2016 victory over Shevchenko (14-2).
Instead, for the third straight year, the UFC has been forced to cancel the main event of its annual International Fight Week show on short notice.
Last July, Jon Jones was removed from his bout against Daniel Cormier three days before UFC 200 for violating the promotion’s anti-doping policy.