In stunning news, Amanda Nunes is out in her bout against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC 213.
Amanda Nunes being out means the main event card at UFC 213 is officially in trouble. The UFC is forced to scramble, amid reports that women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has been ruled out in her bout against Valentina Shevchenko.
According to MMA Fighting, Amanda Nunes became ill in the hours leading up to her championship fight against Valentina Shevchenko. The women’s bantamweight title holder was immediately rushed to the hospital. Nunes’ injury has been deemed undisclosed for now, but an update is sure to come.
Two things are certain, Nunes vs. Shevchenko is no longer on the UFC 213 card, and it is likely too late for the UFC to find a replacement. The news about Amanda Nunes comes at a terrible time for the UFC.
The buildup for the Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko rematch was gaining steam. UFC 213 would have been Nunes’ second title defense, and third overall as the headliner in the main event.
In Nunes’ first shot at being the headliner she destroyed then-champion Miesha Tate at UFC 200. Nunes had to wait close to seven months, but she went on to face the returning Ronda Rousey at in her first title defense at UFC 207.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) July 8, 2017
As the defending bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes had an easy time against Rousey, despite Rousey’s previous dominance in the UFC. The UFC has been branding Nunes as a star ever since.
According to Bloody Elbow, UFC president Dana White acknowledged that Amanda Nunes was cleared to carry on with the match, but she declined citing she was still feeling ill. Now Dana White will have to put UFC 213 on without one of his biggest attractions.
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) July 8, 2017
The replacement for the Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko match in the main event will be the Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker fight. There is also a sliver of a chance that Shevchenko will have a UFC 213 opponent.
There is a fighter of huge significance who is lobbying for a chance to face Valentina Shevchenko — women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
MMA Junkie is reporting that Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants to replace Amanda Nunes tonight at UFC 213. Jedrzejczyk has started a campaign to slide into the spot vacated by Nunes since the bantamweight champion fell ill.
Joann Jedrzejczyk continues to maintain that she is 100 percent healthy and ready to fight, but it would be up to Dana White to make the match. It would also come down to White finding a medical facility to clear Jedrzejczyk. If that happens, she could replace Amanda Nunes.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko would help Dana White save a UFC 213 card that was starting to look a little thin to long time MMA followers. It is a match that the bantamweight challenger to Amanda Nunes has also approved, since the fight she was scheduled for will not take place.
Shevchenko issued a tweet that she would be willing to meet the strawweight champion halfway at 125 pounds.
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) July 8, 2017
If a fight between Jedrzejczyk and Shevchenko can be made, it could prove to be a blessing in disguise for fans.
It does not eliminate the possibility of an Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko fight later on down the road.
Not long ago, Joanna Jedrzejczyk sent out a tweet of her own that may suggest that she will take on Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 213.
— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) July 8, 2017
Meanwhile, Amanda Nunes, once healthy, would get another couple of months to get prepared for her next title defense.
As for UFC 213, an update on the card is sure to come.
Update: The Amanda Nunes bout versus Valentina Shevchenko will be rescheduled. Joanna Jedrzejczyk was unable to gain medical clearance to face Shevchenko, therefore canceling her bout.
According to USA Today, the UFC will look to book the match for the women’s bantamweight championship for UFC 215. Dana White has promised not to offer Amanda Nunes top billing again, thus further adding intrigue to the promotion of future matches involving her.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]