For the record, Amanda Nunes is just fine with a co-headlining role at UFC 215.
The reigning bantamweight queen was supposed to defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko in the UFC 213 headliner on July 8. However, Nunes withdrew from contest on the day of the fight, forcing the promotion to scramble to elevate the interim middleweight title bout between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero to top billing that night.
“You can’t make anybody fight,” UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference. “She said, ‘I don’t feel right.’ I think it was 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. A lot of times we’ve had fighters who don’t feel right and other times they’re outright sick. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a situation like today where she was physically capable of fighting.
“I won’t do that again. I won’t main event that title again.”
One day after UFC 213, Nunes revealed that sinusitis left her unable to breathe and feeling off balance, so that is why she elected to pull out of the fight despite being medically cleared. That said, Nunes knows that White is living up to his word by giving her title fight second billing – and it doesn’t matter. The Brazilian is a fan of the Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg main event.
“I feel they punished me for sure because I didn’t compete,” Nunes said during a recent media call. “At the end of the day I want to fight. I think the main event for this fight’s great. I’m a big fan of Demetrious and they made the right decision to make that the main event. I love to be the co-main event. The only thing I want is to step in that cage and get my work done.”
Nunes is aware that her withdrawal and the details surrounding it have created something of a negative perception. “Lioness” does not regret the decision she made.
“I don’t really care what people think. I train my whole life for this. I’m a fighter and I will keep training. No matter what happens, I will keep doing the same things that I do: training [for] fights -- whatever people’s opinions are.
“This delay allowed me to recover and find out what is going on in all these things. When I go to another area, another climate, I always have these kind of issues,” she continued. “I was able to go to a specialist and they helped me. When I step in the cage I’m 100 percent. Every fighter wants to step in the cage 100 percent. I think I made the right decision, not fighting and getting ready for the next step.”