Dana White Believes Amanda Nunes’ Withdrawal from UFC 213 Was ’90 Percent Mental’

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 9, 2017


According to Dana White, Amanda Nunes’ decision to pull out of her title defense at UFC 213 was more about what was going on in her head than anything else.

“After the [early] weigh-ins she made weight. Leading up to the ceremonial weigh ins I got a call she wasn’t feeling well. It was questionable whether she was going to show up,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “She does them, she was good. This morning, I hear she’s not feeling well again and she’s probably not gonna fight. I asked the doctor’s what’s wrong, she was medically cleared, they found nothing wrong with her. She just didn’t feel well. 

“You can’t make anybody fight,” he continued. “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.”

The last-minute cancellation was just the latest setback for a card that had previously lost its original headliner (Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw) as well as another main card bout (Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone) due to injury.

For now, it appears that Nunes vs. Shevchenko will be rescheduled for UFC 215, which is set for Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Sept. 9.

“I know that both camps were offered Edmonton,” White said. “I don’t know where we are.”

While that card does not yet have a headliner, White doesn’t plan on giving Nunes vs. Shevchenko top billing again.

“I won’t do that again,” he said. “I won’t main event that title again.” Earlier on Saturday, Shevchenko released a statement regarding Nunes’ withdrawal.

“Today I am 100 percent ready for this fight. During the last three months of training I did everything to be in my best shape for this fight. Nunes couldn’t cut weight correctly and was hospitalized. She wanted to cut weight and recover rapidly to have the advantage,” she wrote. “The end result, everything went wrong. Even though she was medically cleared to fight, she backed out. The fight was originally offered to take place in April and she would not accept then.”

White, meanwhile, denied that weight cut issues were to blame for Nunes’ exit.

“We’ve never seen anything like this from her before,” White said. “There’s no pattern of her refusing to fight somebody.

“…I’m not saying she might not have been affected by the weight cut, but she was healthy.”

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