Valentina Shevchenko believes Amanda Nunes’ attempt to gain an advantage ahead of their UFC 213 title fight is what led to the last-minute withdrawal of the UFC women’s bantamweight champion from tonight’s headliner.
Just three hours prior to UFC 213, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, news broke that Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) had been hospitalized earlier in the day and would not competed in her anticipated rematch with Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
Nunes has yet to comment on the situation, but according to UFC President Dana White, “The Lioness” pulled herself from the contest after she decided with her team that she was not fit to compete, despite apparently receiving clearance from doctors.
Hours later, Shevchenko decided to share her thoughts on social media, and said she believes Nunes attempted a rapid weight cut that would give her a physical advantage on fight night. When it didn’t go her way, Shevchenko said she withdrew from the fight.
“Today I am 100% ready for this fight. During the last 3 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. This fight was originally offered to take place in April and she would not accept then.
“I did my part and am very upset that I can’t fight for the title today on this great event. I am even more upset for all my dear fans who support me every time throughout the world and to those who traveled to see me fight here in Las Vegas live. I feel frustrated about what happened but I won’t relax, will not put down energy in my preparation, and will wait until the UFC gives us another date for the fight.”
White said in an interview on the UFC 213 pre-fight show on FS1 that the fight is being tentatively targeted for UFC 215, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.