Champ Amanda Nunes out; main event scrapped

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Greg Beacham

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.

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