As with most UFC cards these days, UFC 213 went through a number of disappointing changes as time went on. The original main event between bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw was cancelled due to a Garbrandt back injury. Then a barnburner of a bout between former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone also got nixed. But nothing could compare to the shock of losing the new main event of women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes pulling out of her rematch with Valentina Shevchenko on the day of the event due to illness.
To compound issues, it’s not 100% clear that Nunes was actually too sick to fight. The UFC certainly doesn’t seem to think so. Dana White told multiple sports outlets on the day of the event that doctors had cleared her to fight, and nothing was technically wrong with her. He explained the situation again during the post-fight press conference.
“Leading up to the ceremonial weigh-ins, I got a call that she wasn’t feeling well,” White said. “And 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. So she does them, everything’s good. This morning, I wake up and I hear that she’s not feeling well again. She’s not feeling well again and she’s probably not going to fight. So, I asked the doctors ‘What’s wrong with her?’ She was medically cleared. She was physically OK, they found nothing wrong with her, but she didn’t feel right.”