Amanda Nunes no longer to defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko
The UFC has canceled the main event of its annual International Fight Week for the third consecutive year.
Amanda Nunes (14-4), a Florida resident from Brazil, won the 135-pound belt from Miesha Tate in July 2016. Nunes was due to compete against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2) after her violent victory over champion Ronda Rousey in December 2016.
UFC President Dana White suggested the event be moved to UFC 215 in Alberta in September, but it hasn’t been confirmed.
White also stated that Joanna Jedrzejczyk requested to take Nunes’s place in the match against Shevchenko, although the Nevada Athletic Commission would likely prohibit the match as Jedrzejczyk is 115 pounds to Shevchenko’s 135.
The interim middleweight title bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker replaced the Nunes-Shevchenko match at the T-Mobile Arena, and the UFC offered refunds to Las Vegas fans.
Romero and Whittaker are both considered “elite fighters” and each have a lengthy winning streak. Nunes’ abrupt unavailability pushed the two into the spotlight.
The UFC 213 was also forced to cancel another event earlier in the year, when men’s bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt stated an injury to his back would prevent him from preparing for a bout against T.J. Dillashaw.
Shevchenko expresses unhappiness over canceled match
Valentina Shevchenko not only lost a considerable paycheck but also her shot at winning the title from Nunes.
Shevchenko posted on social media: “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.”
“The end result, everything went wrong. Even though she was medically cleared to fight, she backed out. I did my part and am very upset that I can’t fight for the title today on this great event.”
The UFC remained vague about Nunes’s reason for being hospitalized.