UFC 213 took a turn for the worse hours before the first fight went down on Saturday July 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada after Amanda Nunes was forced out of her main event title fight against Valentina Shevchenko (details here).
While fight fans were still treated to a great five-round title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero (see it), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is still a bit peeved at the whole “Lioness” debacle.
"She was medically cleared, physically okay. They found nothing wrong with her, but she didn’t feel right,” he said during post-fight press conference via USA Today. “You can’t make anybody fight. It’s not that she absolutely refused to fight, she just said she didn’t feel good.”
The thing that gets White, though, is that he feels that it was Amanda’s mental state that wasn’t right, as opposed to her physical.
"It was 90% mental and probably 10% physical," he added. "A lot of fighters have had times they didn’t feel right and we’ve had guys who are outright sick. Was it the weight cut? No. She might not have been affected by the weight cut, but she was healthy."
According to White, Nunes vs Shevchenko 2 will be headed to UFC 215 on Sept. 9, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, just don’t expect the title fight to be the main event, as he says Nunes will never get another headlining spot.
"I don’t think I’ve ever had a situation like today where she was physically capable of fighting. I won’t do that again (put here in main event). I won’t main event that title again,” said a defiant president.
Dana previously said the same thing about Jon Jones following all of his past issues, but the promotion went ahead and booked him to spearhead UFC 214 opposite Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in a couple of weeks.
Of course, Nunes is no “Bones.” As for Shevchenko, she didn’t go home completely empty-handed, as it was reported that UFC paid her a discretionary bonus of $70,000 for her troubles, while “Lioness” went home with nothing.
"I never considered stripping her, but we didn’t pay her," White said. "We have never see anything like this from her before. There is no pattern of her refusing to fight somebody,” he concluded.
For complete UFC 213 results and play-by-play coverage click here.