With Cody Garbrandt unable to compete at UFC 213, Amanda Nunes will headline the UFC’s marquee International Fight Week event for the second straight year.
Dana White revealed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto last night that Garbrandt was officially off of the card. Garbrandt was scheduled to defend his bantamweight title for the first time against TJ Dillashaw, but he has been battling back problems and was sent to Germany to see a stem cell specialist earlier this month.
Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko for the women’s bantamweight championship is now the main event of UFC 213 on July 8th in Las Vegas. That matchup had been announced previously but wasn’t scheduled to headline the pay-per-view until Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw fell through.
Nunes was elevated to the top spot on the UFC 200 card last July when Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones was canceled at the last minute due to Jones failing a USADA test. She won the title by defeating Miesha Tate on that show.
An interim middleweight title bout is also set for UFC 213, with Yoel Romero taking on Robert Whittaker.
Controversy over Georges St-Pierre receiving the next shot at Michael Bisping’s title instead of Romero began as soon as that fight was scheduled, but White later announced that plans for Bisping vs. GSP had been scrapped when St-Pierre posted that he wouldn’t be available to compete until after October. Bisping is unavailable to fight right now due to a knee injury as well, so Romero will face Whittaker for the interim belt.
White told Okamoto that Demetrious Johnson vs. Dillashaw for the flyweight title is being planned for August, but Johnson tweeted that he hasn’t agreed to anything and is waiting on a contract to defend against Ray Borg. Johnson wrote that Dillashaw can come down to flyweight and get a win first if he wants a title fight.
As was previously revealed, Robbie Lawler vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem, and Anthony Pettis vs. Jim Miller will also take place at UFC 213.