In a spectacular stroke of bad fortune, UFC 213 lost its main event with mere hours until fight time.
MMAWeekly.com initially confirmed that bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes had gone to the hospital due to illness. Although every attempt was made to keep the fight intact, she felt too ill to fight, and it was later confirmed by multiple sources that her fight with Valentina Shevchenko had been canceled.
The UFC issued a statement to MMAWeekly.com on Saturday, confirming the removal of the Nunes vs. Shevchenko bout. With the fight’s cancellation, UFC officials moved swiftly to reorganize the fight card.
The original co-main event between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker for the interim middleweight championship will now serve as headliner. As of the time of publication, it was expected that a heavyweight trilogy bout between Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem would take the co-main event slot.
Also part of the shuffling, a preliminary bout between Rob Font and Douglas Silva de Andrade has been upgraded to the main card.
The UFC’s statement on the UFC 213 fight card shake-up:
“Due to illness, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has been removed from her UFC 213 title defense against Valentina Shevchenko.
UFC 213, which is now headlined by the interim UFC middleweight championship bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker, will proceed as scheduled with 11 bouts at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Moving to the Pay-Per-View main card is the bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Douglas Silva de Andrade.
With the removal of Nunes vs. Shevchenko, customers may request a full refund of purchased tickets at point of sale.”