UFC 213 has undergone some significant changes at the top of the card.
The Las Vegas-based promotion announced on Tuesday evening that the event’s original headliner, a bantamweight title clash between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw, has been removed from the card. The bout between the “Ultimate Fighter 25” coaches was scrapped due to a back injury suffered by Garbrandt. Instead, the UFC is now targeting a flyweight title bout between reigning 125-pound king Demetrious Johnson and Dillashaw at a later date.
"After [Garbrandt’s] last round of treatment in Germany, they told him he'd need four weeks to rest," UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com. "That would have put him two weeks out from the fight.
"With Cody out, we're going to make T.J. versus Mighty Mouse. That's the plan.”
Meanwhile, a women’s bantamweight championship clash between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko has been elevated to the UFC 213 main event. Additionally, White revealed that Yoel Romero will face Robert Whittaker for the interim middleweight crown in the co-headliner. Reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping has been slow to recover from knee surgery and will not be able to defend his belt this summer.
Romero has won eight fights in a row and last appeared at UFC 205, where he knocked out ex-champ Chris Weidman with a flying knee in the third round. Whittaker earned a signature triumph over Ronaldo Souza in his last outing at UFC on Fox 24 and has won seven straight contests.
UFC 213 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 8 and airs on pay-per-view. The card is also expected to include a heavyweight scrap pitting Fabricio Werdum against Alistair Overeem and a welterweight tilt between Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone.