Originally, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes was expected to take on challenger Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of last Saturday’s UFC 213. Regrettably, Nunes was forced out of this contest on the very day it was supposed to happen with an illness.
Nunes’ UFC 213 withdrawal generated a tidal wave of controversy, as keyboard warriors suggested she was scared to fight Shevchenko (who she has already defeated) and UFC President Dana White suggested her illness was mostly mental.
Since her withdrawal, Nunes has released a statement explaining that she had chronic sinusitis – hardly a mental issue.
“Everyone is wanting to hear my side so here it is….. I have chronic sinusitis,” Nunes said. “I have fought with it before but this time It didn’t work out, during the weight cut I was unable to breath and felt off balance from the pressure in my sinuses. I was not feeling well enough to risk getting punched in the head with such pressure. I was taken to the hospital after weigh ins and they only checked my blood and dehydration so cleared me based on that. The next day I went back and they did a CT scan and found a build up and I was prescribed antibiotics and referred to a specialist. I have never pulled out of a fight before. I am sorry to all my fans that came out to see me, I’ll make it up to you the next time I step in the cage. The fight is being rescheduled. I still want this fight. I still want this opponent. Thank you”
Shortly after Nunes released this statement, her coach Conan Silveira spoke to MMA Fighting and defended his fighter. His words:
“Critics and dumb people get together and form an opinion that doesn’t exist. Even fighters saying she was scared. Amanda is not scared of anyone. She retired Miesha Tate, she retired Ronda Rousey. Not to mention that she already beat Valentina by unanimous decision. How did she become scared now? Know the facts before you have your opinion. If you have a mouth you can say whatever you want. Every person has their own opinion. What [White] said is what a promoter says. It was enough for him to hear the doctor clearing her, but at the end of the day, Amanda is the one who steps in there to fight. Opinions from everyone else are nothing but opinions. You have to respect her decision. She’s the champion. What everyone else says means nothing.”
What did you make of Amanda Nunes’ withdrawal from the UFC 213 main event?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/10/2017.