If things had gone according to plan, Valentina Shevchenko would have battled Amanda Nunes for UFC bantamweight gold in the main event of UFC 213 last Saturday. Unfortunately, Nunes was forced out of the bout with an illness at the last minute – at least, that’s her story.
“I don’t 100% believe that it’s true,” Shevchenko said (via MMAFighting.com). “She’s trying to say that this was medical something, like with medicals because of her illness or something like this — because during all this week before the fight, [even] one day before the fight at weigh-ins, or the (open) workouts, everybody saw her in very good health, very aggressive. And even at the weigh-ins, she was saying, ‘I’m ready to give this fight, very good fight and take the victory,’ saying and doing all things aggressive like she did.
“Then after weigh-ins, the day of the fight, she [pulls] out, she says, ‘okay, I was feeling bad all week.’ But at the same time she was saying, every time, that she was feeling very strong and prepared for the fight.”
While Shevchenko has her doubts, Nunes has assured she was down for the count with a bout of chronic sinusitis. Her coach, Conan Silveira, also defended her honor, blasting fighters like Shevchenko who believe Nunes is scared.
“Even fighters (were) saying she was scared,” Silveira told MMAFighting.com. “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.”
What do you make of Amanda Nunes’ UFC 213 withdrawal? Do you share Valentina Shevchenko’s skepticism?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/11/2017.