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Shevchenko says ‘everything went wrong’ for Nunes leading up to UFC 213 cancellation

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Valentina Shevchenko released a statement on the cancellation of her UFC 213 title fight with champ Amanda Nunes on Saturday evening.

UFC 213: Weigh-ins Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Just hours before UFC 213 started, Valentina Shevchenko’s biggest fight of her career came crashing down.

In only her fifth fight in the organization, she had an opportunity to become UFC women’s bantamweight champion in a rematch against titleholder Amanda Nunes in the main event of the annual International Fight Week pay-per-view event. But mid Saturday “The Lioness” pulled out of the bout after falling ill on Friday, despite being cleared by doctors, per UFC president Dana White.

Strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk campaigned to move up two weight classes and fight Shevchenko, a former Muay Thai foe, on less than one day’s notice, and Shevchenko was more than open to the idea, as well. But unsurprisingly, the proposed bout was shot down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission because Jedrzejczyk did not weigh in on Friday nor have any medicals and other tests completed.

Shevchenko released a statement on her Instagram page after she was officially pulled from the card.

“During the last 3 months of training I did everything to be in my best shape for this fight,” she wrote. “Nunes couldn't cut weight correctly and was hospitalized. She wanted to cut weight and recover rapidly to have the advantage. The end result, everything went wrong.

“Even though she was medically cleared to fight, she backed out. This fight was originally offered to take place in April and she would not accept then. I did my part and am very upset that I can't fight for the title today on this great event. ... I feel frustrated about what happened but I won't relax, will not put down energy in my preparation, and will wait until the UFC gives us another date for the fight.”

Nunes has yet to speak about the bout cancellation.

Shevchenko and Nunes fought at UFC 196 in March 2016, and the Brazilian won a close decision. Since then, Nunes has won the title against Miesha Tate and defended it against Ronda Rousey, and Shevchenko has defeated Holly Holm and Julianna Pena.

UFC 213, which takes place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is now headlined by an interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker.