BREAKING: Amanda Nunes Out of UFC 213
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes was rushed to the hospital with an illness earlier today, and her scheduled UFC 213 title bout with Valentina Shevchenko has now officially been canceled. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto first reported the bout’s cancellation.
Multiple sources have told me Amanda Nunes is 100 percent off UFC 213 tonight.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 8, 2017
Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker, who are scheduled to compete for the UFC interim middleweight championship, will now serve tonight’s main event.
The report of Nunes in the hospital was first confirmed at about 2:45 p.m. EST by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
Amanda Nunes has been feeling ill this week. She’s currently in the hospital. Tonight’s main event is in jeopardy. No official word yet.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 8, 2017
The UFC has released the following statement:
"Due to illness, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has been removed from her UFC 213 title defense against Valentina Shevchenko.
"UFC 213, which is now headlined by the interim UFC middleweight championship bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker, will proceed as scheduled with 11 bouts at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Moving to the Pay-Per-View main card is the bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Douglas Silva de Andrade.
"With the removal of Nunes vs. Shevchenko, customers may request a full refund of purchased tickets at point of sale."
This is the third major bout scheduled for UFC 213 that has been canceled. Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw, who both served as coaches for the season of The Ultimate Fighter that had its finale last night, were scheduled to do battle for Garbrandt’s bantamweight title. But an injury to Garbrandt forced him off the card. Rumblings for Dillashaw to fight Demetrious Johnson following this never came through due to Johnson’s reported refusal to fight Dillashaw.
Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler was also scheduled to occur at this event, but a pulled groin and staph infection to Cerrone scrapped those plans. That bout, however, has been rebooked for later this month, at UFC 214 on July 29.
This is also the third year in a row that the UFC loses the originally booked main event for its International Fight Week pay-per-view — the second year in a row this occurrence happens mere hours before the event. UFC 214’s main event — Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship — was scheduled to main event last year’s UFC 200 event. Jones, however, failed a pre-fight drug test and was suspended for one year by USADA.
Conor McGregor was also originally scheduled to challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight title at UFC 189 in 2015 during International Fight Week, but Aldo pulled from the bout due to injury in late June and was replaced by Chad Mendes.