Category Archives: Valentina Shevchenko

Here's the official poster for UFC 215, featuring 2 title fights and heavyweight hitters

After a light August schedule, the UFC makes its return to pay-per-view next month with UFC 215.

The event, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, features a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) attempts to make a record-breaking 11th consecutive title defense when he takes on Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the main event. In the co-headliner, women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematches Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a bout pushed back from July.

Check out the official event poster below:

The complete UFC 215 lineup includes:

  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215: Demetrious Johnson-Ray Borg, Amanda Nunes-Valentina Shevchenko title fights headline

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UFC 215 will feature two title fights, with Demetrious Johnson being granted his wish and a recently canceled rematch rebooked.

The UFC announced today that Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) will defend his flyweight title against Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the night’s main event, while a women’s bantamweight title fight between champ Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Valentina Shevchenko  (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will serve as the co-headliner.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Both championship fights will happen after some drama with each.

In the case of Johnson-Borg, the UFC’s original hope was to have Johnson defend his title against T.J. Dillashaw as “Mighty Mouse” aims to break Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses. But Johnson pushed back, which stirred up a weeks-long feud between he and UFC President Dana White. Johnson insisted Dillashaw didn’t deserve to jump the line for a title shot in a new division after his bantamweight title fight with Cody Garbrandt was scrapped.

With that now behind them, the pound-for-pound king will defend his title against Borg, who is ranked No. 5 in the current USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings. Borg has won five of his last six fights, including recent back-to-back decisions over Louis Smolka and Jussier Formiga. Two of Borg’s last four fights have come at a catchweight after he failed to make the 126-pound limit.

For Nunes-Shevchenko, the booking is a second attempt to make the rematch. Their scheduled UFC 213 main-event bout earlier this month was canceled hours before it was set to happen when Nunes withdrew over illness, despite being medically cleared. Nunes would later reveal that complications from “chronic sinusitis” weakened her to the point she couldn’t compete.

It was an unfortunate development after the two got heated in the build-up during the summer kickoff event in May. Nunes and Shevchenko fought last year, with Nunes winning a three-round decision.

With the addition, the latest UFC 215 lineup includes:

  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Junior Dos Santos
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Trading Shots: Should Amanda Nunes have fought sick at UFC 213?

Amanda Nunes set off an avalanche of criticism, both from fans and UFC President Dana White, when she pulled out of her UFC 213 main event bout against Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday in Las Vegas. Now retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to debate what Nunes should have done, and whether the powers that be are treating her unfairly.

Downes: There wasn’t a Papa Roach concert (that I know of), but “International Fight Week” provided some great action this weekend, Ben. On Friday night, Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson had the potential “Fight of the Year.” Not to be outdone, your boy Robert Whittaker withstood some early trouble and a bum leg to become the interim middleweight champion.

What we didn’t see, however, was Amanda Nunes defending her UFC women’s bantamweight title against Valentina Shevchenko. We still don’t have all the details, but it sounds like Nunes became ill and pulled out of the fight. Dana White says that Nunes was medically cleared and her decision not to fight was “90 percent mental.”

Since you threw Germaine de Randamie under the bus a few weeks ago, it’s safe to assume that you, too, will call Nunes a coward?

Fowlkes: You know what I like about you? Your willingness to strip all context away while making these comparisons. Wait, did I just type “like”? Sorry, I meant the opposite of that.

Here’s what happened with Germaine de Randamie, Danny, since you seem to have forgotten. First she won the UFC women’s featherweight title. Then, the moment she was asked about defending that title, likely against Cristiane Justino, she remembered she needed hand surgery. Maybe. Then some weeks later she remembered that Justino has a history of failed drug tests, and so that’s why she wouldn’t fight her.

Nunes? She already fought Shevchenko once – and won. She signed to fight her again, then ended up in the hospital twice in the hours leading up to the fight, before eventually withdrawing.

White has gone out of his way to frame this as a mental and not a physical issue for Nunes. That’s not uncommon for the UFC president. He loves to trash his own fighters when they cost him money or even just go against his wishes, and it doesn’t seem to matter how good or tough or awesome they are at their jobs.

Remember when he did a media conference call to hammer Jon Jones after the UFC 151 cancellation? Remember when he went on an “official” UFC podcast to talk smack on Demetrious Johnson?

Now it’s Nunes’ turn. She was “cleared” to fight by doctors, White said, but simply wouldn’t do it. I guess that’s because she likes throwing her money away on training camps only to miss out on the payday of the fight itself. Either that, or she was so terrified of the prospect of a fight against someone she already beat that she simply couldn’t go through with it.

Or – bear with me, because I know this theory is a little crazy – maybe she felt like she was too freaking sick to fight, Danny. Maybe she knew that if she fought sick and lost, her willingness to do the UFC a solid wouldn’t do much to help her chances of getting a rematch. Maybe she felt like she had to look out for herself, since who else is going to do it if she doesn’t?

Are you really going to tell me that you can’t imagine how a fighter might reach that conclusion? Or are you just that comfortable taking White’s word as solemn gospel, despite his troubled history with the truth?

Downes: MMAjunkie is truly lucky to have someone like you on staff. Your ability to easily discern which fighters are running scared and which ones are a victim of circumstance is astounding. Coupled with your apparent medical knowledge, I’m simply in awe. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though. I mean, you did play Division III football, after all.

I know nuance is a dirty word to you, so I’m going to try to break it down as simply as I can. You are correct to be suspicious of White’s interpretation of events. He had a lot to lose and nothing to gain by canceling his main event. And when you mess with his fight cards, he goes scorched Earth. That is, unless you get picked up for a felony assault warrant. Then he’ll go to bat for you all day long.

But your mistake here is letting the personality of the fighter cloud your judgment. You like Nunes. Therefore, she’s a victim of a smear campaign. If it had been Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping or anyone else on your hit list, I doubt you would be so forgiving.

Nunes said that “chronic sinusitis” was the reason for her pulling out of the fight. Now before you claim victory, she’s also said that she’s fought through this before. I don’t know about White’s 90/10 split on the mental vs. physical aspect of Nunes’s decision, but even you would have to admit the mental aspect played a role.

Obviously you don’t have to be on your deathbed to be “too sick to fight,” but even a slight annoyance leading up to a fight can be magnified 1000 times over in your mind. I’m sure you had the same feelings on…uh…scrimmage week or something. Even if it’s a condition you’ve dealt with thousands of times before, the stakes become bigger once you’re the headliner.

I don’t think Nunes was scared. I don’t think she spent all that time/money on training camp to go to Las Vegas and walk away with $0. What I do think is the stress of being the champion can weigh on a person. Would she have pulled out of this fight if she were the challenger? Probably not. Like de Randamie or Bisping or even Conor McGregor, she has a title now and wants to do everything in her power to hold onto it.

All those aforementioned champions have gone through widely disparate machinations to hold on to their respective titles, but the larger point still stands. Once they have their precious, they’ll do whatever necessary to keep it theirs. Even it means being a bit more cautious than usual.

Fowlkes: You want to talk nuance? Want to talk about medical clearances? Then let me pull your chain about a cat name of Donald Cerrone.

That’s right, I’m talking about our beloved “Cowboy.” Now there’s a man who’ll fight through anything. Pulled groin? Infection in his blood? Doesn’t matter. If the doctor and the promoter will let him, he’s putting that mouthpiece in and making that walk. What a savage.

Know something else about Cerrone? He’s never been a UFC champ. It could be because he fights all the time, under whatever circumstances, and so inevitably he’s going to lose one here and there. And what happened when he complained about the state of fighter pay, Danny? That’s when Mr. White explained that you “have to win them all” if you want to make that serious money.

But, wait, I’m confused. If you have to win them all, wouldn’t you be wise to refrain from fighting when you aren’t feeling healthy enough to give yourself a good shot at victory? But if you do that, then you’ll get excoriated on the Internet for not being a “real” fighter, regardless of how many times you’ve already proven the opposite.

This isn’t someone turning down the top contender in the division. It isn’t someone picking and choosing for an easier or more profitable fight. This is a champion who said yes, who showed up, and who got sick.

If our response is to yell at her for not being willing to take the beating anyway for the sake of our entertainment, then we need to reevaluate some things, up to and including how we treat losing fighters who tell us what was ailing them. And until we’re ready to do that, we shouldn’t be surprised when a fighter decides to act in her own best interests. Maybe instead we should be surprised that it doesn’t happen more often.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC champ Amanda Nunes reveals 'chronic sinusitis' forced UFC 213 withdrawal

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has revealed the issue that forced his last-minute withdrawal from Saturday’s UFC 213 pay-per-view headliner.

According to the Brazilian, “chronic sinusitis” and its complications plagued her throughout fight week, and though she’s fought through it before, it was much too overcome this time, she wrote.

Just prior to UFC 213, which concluded the UFC’s annual International Fight Week, Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) pulled out of a rematch with Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC). In an initial statement, Nunes was light on details and wrote: “Sorry to all my true fans. The fight will be rescheduled and I will be back at 100%”

Today, she reaffirmed her desire for the matchup and offered some additional details.

“The fight is being rescheduled,” she wrote. “I still want this fight. I still want this opponent.

Here’s today’s full statement (via Twitter):

“Everyone is wanting to hear my side so here it is….. I have chronic sinusitis , I have fought with it before but this time It didn’t work out, during the weight cut I was unable to breath and felt off balance from the pressure in my sinuses. I was not feeling well enough to risk getting punched in the head with such pressure. I was taken to the hospital after weigh ins and they only checked my blood and dehydration so cleared me based on that. The next day I went back and they did a CT scan and found a build up and I was prescribed antibiotics and referred to a specialist. I have never pulled out of a fight before. I am sorry to all my fans that came out to see me, I’ll make it up to you the next time I step in the cage. The fight is being rescheduled. I still want this fight. I still want this opponent. Thank you”

In the immediate aftermath of the withdrawal, UFC President Dana White was less than sympathetic – even saying she “didn’t want to fight” – and said Nunes won’t again headline a show (though he said the same thing about Jon Jones, who headlines UFC 214 later this month). White said the Nunes-Shevchenko rescheduling/rematch is tentatively slotted for UFC 215 on Sept. 9, which takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Shevchenko, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, said she felt No. 1-ranked Nunes “backed out” from the fight after botching her weight cut and recovery (watch the video above), though she obviously wasn’t aware of the details of Nunes’ issues at the time.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White won't give champ Amanda Nunes another main event after UFC 213 withdrawal

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LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White has lost faith in women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes after her late-notice withdrawal on the day of Saturday’s UFC 213 event, he said.

“I won’t main event that title again,” he told MMAjunkie following the pay-per-view at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

White called Nunes’ withdrawal “90 percent mental and maybe 10 percent physical” and said he didn’t consider stripping her of the title because she had no history of last-minute withdrawals. But he didn’t pay her any part of her scheduled UFC 213 purse, and he indicated he won’t take another risk on her as as headliner.

“These situations arise all the time,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a situation like today, though, where she was physically capable of fighting.”

Nunes’ (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) withdrawal from a fight with Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was the latest woe for the UFC’s annual International Fight Week, which has lost its originally scheduled main events for the past three years.

After a light heavyweight title unifier in 2016 between then-interim champ Jon Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) and champ Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) was scratched when an anti-doping violation cost Jones his spot on UFC 200, White vowed never to let Jones headline an event. He later changed his mind, waiting out Jones’ suspension to book the fight for this month’s UFC 214.

The first sign of trouble in Nunes’ case, according to White, came on Friday just prior to the event’s ceremonial weigh-ins.

“I got a call that (Nunes) wasn’t feeling well and that it was questionable whether she was going to show up to the ceremonials, because the doctor needed to see her and they needed to find out what was going on with her,” White said. “She does them. Everything’s good. This morning I wake up, and I hear that she’s not feeling well again – no, she’s not feeling well again, and she’s probably not going to fight.

“I asked the doctors what was wrong with her. She was medically cleared. She was physically OK. They found nothing wrong with her. But she didn’t feel right.”

White clarified that Nunes didn’t specifically refuse to fight, but instead said, “I don’t feel right. I don’t feel good.”

He said the UFC is working on rebooking the fight for UFC 215, which takes place Sept. 9 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

During the UFC 213 broadcast, Nunes made her first public statement about her withdrawal. Short on details about what happened, she wrote, “Sorry to all my true fans. The fight will be rescheduled and I will be back at 100 (percent).”

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Valentina Shevchenko just wants her UFC title shot, isn't concerned about Amanda Nunes

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LAS VEGAS – Despite being “very upset” by the last-minute withdrawal of UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes, Valentina Shevchenko won’t be deterred from her ultimate goal of winning a title.

“(Nunes) has to fight,” Shevchenko told reporters backstage at T-Mobile Arena just hours after Nunes’ hospitalization and scratch from UFC 213. “She has to defend her title. But the other thing is, I don’t care what happens to her. I’m more worried about my goal.”

Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) accused Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) of being unprofessional in trying to cut too much weight in too short an amount of time, endangering her health to the point she needed to be hospitalized. Shevchenko stopped just short of accusing the champ of being afraid to fight, but the implication was clear.

“Why has it happened? Nobody knows,” she said. “If you said you are good with conditioning, you are healthy – go fight. You don’t want? What does it mean?”

During the pay-per-view broadcast for UFC 213, Nunes tweeted an apology to all her “true fans” and added the fight will be rescheduled, “and I will be back at 100 (percent).”

White said the women’s bantamweight champ was cleared to compete by medical professionals and still didn’t want to fight. Women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) volunteered to step up and face Shevchenko, only to be ruled out when she was unable to gain medical clearance.

Shevchenko was grateful for Jedrzejczyk’s offer but could only stew over being put in the position in the first place.

“We don’t have to say nothing,” Shevchenko said. “We understand everything. If you’re doing these kinds of things, you have to be responsible for people will think about you. I hope she knows what she’s doing. I know exactly why she’s doing this. Everybody knows.”

Shevchenko said as long as she’s competing for a title, the date and opponent for her next fight doesn’t matter. She welcomed a reported September date, potentially at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

“My time will come,” Shevchenko said. “I will be fighting for the title, and I’ll have it.”

For complete coverage UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Amanda Nunes releases first statement following UFC 213 withdrawal

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UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has broken her silence following her last-minute withdrawal from the UFC 213 main event, but she didn’t provide much in the way of the explanation.

Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) went quiet following the announcement she would be unable to compete due to illness just hours prior to the start of the UFC 213 card. She was scheduled to rematch Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC President Dana White said Nunes and her team pulled out of the fight despite being cleared by doctors after the Brazilian was feeling off in the final days leading up to her fight. “The Lioness” didn’t give her side of the story, but did promise to be back.

Shevchenko, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, spoke after the disappointing news and said she felt No. 1-ranked Nunes “backed out” from the fight after botching her weight cut and recovery.

Nevertheless, White said the rematch is tentatively set for UFC 215 on Sept. 9, which takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Why couldn't Joanna Jedrzejczyk fight last minute at UFC 213? 'It was about a pregnancy test'

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LAS VEGAS – UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk said she was “very close” to convincing the Nevada State Athletic Commission she could face Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 213.

But in the end, the commission’s rules nixed the possibility.

“It was about a pregnancy test,” Jedrzejczyk told MMAjunkie backstage at T-Mobile Arena. “It was not enough time to get the result. They needed 72 hours.”

Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) withdrew from a title defense in Saturday’s pay-per-view headliner after falling ill. UFC President Dana White said she was cleared to compete but chose not to. Nunes has yet to comment on her withdrawal.

The scratch left the promotion scrambling. Then Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) suddenly stepped into the picture, volunteering on social media to fight Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who she’s faced multiple times on the kickboxing circuit. She immediately messaged White, who’s phone was off.

“But when he saw the message, I got the phone call from PR and matchmakers from the UFC, and (they) were trying to get me on this card,” she said.

Shevchenko agreed to the fight online, apparently opening the door. But the short-notice nature of the matchup left the NSAC no time to complete its required paperwork.

According to NSAC statutes, female unarmed combatants “shall provide to the Commission an original or certified copy of the result of a medical test taken not later than 1 week before the day of the bout, which shows that the combatant is not pregnant.” It’s unclear if the commission was willing to waive that requirement.

Jedrzejczyk said her willingness to step up on extremely short notice wasn’t about a grudge with Shevchenko or a desire to come off looking like the hero.

“It’s all about the sport,” Jedrzejczyk said. “If I was going to fight, win or lose, I don’t mind. I just wanted to fight and help Valentina and help the UFC rescue the show.”

Watching the promotion lose a main-event fight motivated her to step up.

“I feel sorry for Amanda and Valentina, for both of them,” she said. “MMA is a difficult sport. It’s all about being the strongest physically and mentally, but the weight cuts (and) the preparations are very hard and very tough for our bodies and our brains.

“She got sick, and she’s still in the hospital probably. But I know she’ll be back soon. She’s the champion for a reason. But I feel sorry for Valentina. It was her big chance to fight for a title, and she was very close to maybe becoming a UFC world champion. I hope we will see them fighting very soon.”

But now that her door has closed, Jedrzejczyk is turning her focus to the strawweight division, where she expects to meet top contender Rose Namajunas. White gave the green light to the November timeframe she’s previously mentioned.

Jedrzejczyk’s next title defense gives her the opportunity to tie former women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey, whom she was scheduled to meet this week before her schedule intervened.

“I was super busy. It’s International Fight Week,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I wish I had time for Ronda, because she’s in Vegas watching Travis (Browne fight at UFC 213). I hope I will meet her soon.”

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Frustrated Valentina Shevchenko says Amanda Nunes 'backed out' of UFC 213 title fight

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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.”

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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.

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White: Amanda Nunes was medically cleared for UFC 213 but didn't want to fight

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC President Dana White insists that Amanda Nunes and her team – and not doctors – were the ones who made the final call on her last-minute withdrawal from tonight’s UFC 213 main event.

Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) officially was ruled out of her UFC women’s bantamweight title headliner with Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) just over three hours before the show was scheduled to begin at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Brazilian was hospitalized with illness in the morning, and despite being cleared by doctors, White claims she said she couldn’t fight.

“Yesterday, she started to not feel good, so we took her to (the) hospital,” White said on SportsCenter. “(The doctor) did a full evaluation, and she was medically cleared to fight. She weighed in at the ceremonial weigh-in (Friday) and squared off with Shevchenko, then went home last night.

“This morning, (Nunes) called again and said she didn’t feel good. So they brought her back in (to the hospital) and started running tests on her, and she said she didn’t want to fight … she didn’t feel good and didn’t want to fight. She was medically cleared to fight, was checked and everything was fine, but she said she didn’t feel right.”

Nunes, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, has yet to comment on the situation or share her side of the story.

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.

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie