The last minute illness bug has struck again, potentially wiping out tonight’s UFC 213’s main event fight between women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. According to reporters in the know, Nunes was feeling ill all week and was hospitalized shortly after weigh-ins.
It’s unclear whether Nunes being sick is a side effect of weight cutting, but it wouldn’t be the first (or last) time a big fight is cancelled over those kinds of issues. Most recently, UFC 209 lost its co-main event of Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov after Khabib was hospitalized during his weight cut.
Fighters routinely try to drop as much as 30 or more pounds to gain a size advantage over their opponents. Lately there’s been a slight trend in the opposite direction as some fighters move up in weight class so they won’t end up as depleted energy wise on fight night. But for every smart fighter that does this there’s another two or three still taking weight cutting to an unhealthy extreme.
Nunes is best known for being the woman to effectively retire Ronda Rousey, beating her bloody in a quick 48 seconds back in December of 2016. Her fight against Valentina Shevchenko was going to be her second title defense since taking the belt off Miesha Tate and finishing Ronda.
This is the latest big hit to UFC 213, which recently lost an exciting matchup in Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone due to a blood infection suffered by Cerrone. Remaining fights include an interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker, a heavyweight contender match between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, and a lightweight fight between Anthony Pettis and Jim Miller.
*UPDATE* It’s official: