The withdrawal of 135lb. champ Amanda Nunes just hours before her scheduled rematch with Valentina Shevchenko has left a gaping hole in a UFC 213 card that's already been stricken with cancellations. Tony Ferguson being the most notorious high-profile bout called off due to illness associated with weight cutting, and now the hyped rematch between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko could unfortunately be added to the list. If Shevchenko wins the first round, she will be an instant bet, as it will be very hard for Nunes to overcome a round deficit in this fight.
UFC 2013 emanates from Las Vegas on Saturday, July 8, starting at 10PM Eastern.
"I follow God. God says love your neighbor as you love yourself". Meanwhile, he's been saying Bisping's next opponent would be the victor of the interim middleweight title bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker at UFC 213. Romero wrestled for Cuba in two Olympics before defecting in 2007, and he started his MMA career in 2009 - the same year that Whittaker first stepped into a cage.
Romero (14-1) is on an eight-fight win streak, including six finishes.
They first locked horns at UFC 196, when the Brazilian claimed a unanimous decision triumph to secure her shot at the crown held at the time by Miesha Tate. Already a muay thai world champion and an accomplished boxer and kickboxer, she also could become a UFC champion in her rematch with Nunes, who narrowly beat her by decision past year. Earlier this week, she talked about that chase of the belt on "UFC Tonight".
Shevchenko on the losing the first fight to Nunes: "It was in the past".
In the end, a card which has become a focal point for UFC in recent years during International Fight Week, will come off as partially underwhelming, especially after losing a key welterweight bout between Donald Cerrone and former champion Robbie Lawler (which has been rescheduled to UFC 214). Now I'm done with that fight, and I'm moving forward. "But I've said many times to many people, it's not what man wants...it's who the creator of life decides".
Nunes duly grasped that opportunity with both hands, subjecting Tate to a hellish three-minute beating at UFC 200 that culminated in victory via rear-naked choke.
"I'm feeling great. I'm feeling very strong".
Nunes has christened her rise as "The Era of the Lioness" and with her fearsome stand-up allied to impressive wrestling credentials and an explosive ground-and-pound game, it's easy to see why she could dominate the division for the foreseeable future. Long overdue, Romero will finally compete for "interim" middleweight gold at UFC 213 after going 9-0 in the UFC.
Fox Sports 1 will have live coverage of the preliminary fight at 8 p.m. ET while pay-per-view for the main card will broadcast on UFC's official website.