With very little notice, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was apparently willing to step in and save UFC 213.
UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.com on Saturday that the reigning strawweight champion offered to face Valentina Shevchenko at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Shevchenko was supposed to challenge Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title in the UFC 213 headliner, but the bout was scrapped when Nunes was hospitalized due to illness.
Jedrzejczyk later took to social media to help fuel the speculation.
“Come on Dana. Come on UFC. Make it happen. Talk to the commission, this is your city,” Jedrzejczyk said in a video posted to her Instagram account. “Come on Dana, make it happen. I’m in shape.”
Jedrzejczyk and Shevchenko have never crossed paths in MMA, but they have previously fought under muay Thai rules. Shevchenko defeated Jedrzejczyk in each of their three bouts. While an MMA bout with the two former rivals would add intrigue to a UFC 213 card that has already lost Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone and Nunes vs. Shevchenko, the Nevada Athletic Commission quickly nixed the possibility of the fight:
Per NAC executive director Bob Bennett, it would be too late at this point to replace Nunes with anyone. #UFC213— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) July 8, 2017
Jedrzejczyk last competed at UFC 211 on May 13, when she took a convincing five-round victory over Jessica Andrade to improve to 14-0.