The UFC’s International Fight Week had more or less gone off without a hitch and MMA fans were still riding high from an incredible Friday night fight between Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson.
Unfortunately, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes fell ill Saturday and was transported to a Las Vegas hospital. As a result, her UFC 213 main event fight with Valentina Shevchenko has been cancelled.
The news was first reported by Twitter user @TalkMMA and later confirmed by UFC president Dana White.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Nunes was hospitalized–often when this happens to a fighter at the 11th hour it is due to the effects of cutting weight–but MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani reported that Nunes had been feeling sick all week. Nunes stepped on the scale at Friday morning’s weigh-ins at an even 135 pounds.
An interim middleweight title fight between No. 1-ranked 185-pound contender Yoel Romero and No. 3-ranked Robert Whittaker will now serve as the main event. A bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Douglas Silva de Andrade has been promoted from the prelims to the main card.
UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who is in Law Vegas to watch the fights, offered her services to save the main event but it’s too late for that to be a possibility.
As per Nevada Athletic Commission rules, since the main event has been cancelled the UFC will be forced to offer fans refunds for tickets purchased.