Multiple trusted sources such as MMAFighting.com, USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com, and ESPN have all confirmed that the main event for Saturday night’s UFC 213 pay-per-view card is no more.
UFC women’s bantamweight (135-pound) champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes is currently in a hospital due to an undisclosed illness.
Headlining Act Cancelled
The bout would have been the second defense of the title for Nunes after she took out the transcendent star and former champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (now 12-2) in just 48 seconds last December as the main event of the UFC 207 pay-per-view. Prior to this, she had taken the belt off of the now-retired Miesha “Cupcake” Tate in the main event of the historic UFC 200.
In their first fight at UFC 196 in March of last year, Nunes led the bout through the first ten minutes before the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian Muay Thai fighter got the crowd on its feet by mounting a comeback throughout the third and final stanza only to run out of time and she lost by what some feel was a narrow decision.
Nunes, the first Brazilian female UFC champion (14-4 in MMA overall, 7-1 in the UFC) had previously been slated to face Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (14-2 in MMA overall, 3-1 in the UFC) in a much-anticipated rematch at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both women were at -115 per Bovada as far as betting odds go. That is all that is known about the situation at this time.
According to UFC President Dana White, women’s strawweight (115-pound) titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been “begging for a short notice fight with Shevchenko but it does not appear that the fight will occur. The UFC said in a statement that fans wishing to receive a refund for their tickets can get one at their point of sale.
With only hours remaining until the event’s main card goes on the airwaves, the co-main event fight between Cuban Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (-110) and Australia’s Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker (-120) for the interim UFC middleweight (185-pound) belt will serve as the new marquee contest per UFC.com.
Whittaker (18-4, 9-2) is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak with four KO/TKO finishes including two back-to-back wins by head kick and strikes. Romero (12-1, 8-1) has been the middleweight division’s top contender for some time and had been set to face champion Michael “The Count” Bisping (30-7, 20-7) after winning by jumping knee KO at UFC 205 in November.
However, this was before Bisping took a fight with the returning Georges “Rush” St-Pierre (25-2, 20-2) that has been postponed due to an eye injury the challenger suffered in training.
The event broadcast is set to begin with the early preliminary bouts kicking off on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/ 3:30 PT and the preliminary bouts on Fox Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m./ 5 p.m. and the pay-per-view main card following at 10 p.m./ 7 p.m.
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