UFC 213 fight card: Full fight list for Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2

The withdrawal of 135lb. champ Amanda Nunes just hours before her scheduled rematch with Valentina Shevchenko has left a gaping hole in a UFC 213 card that's already been stricken with cancellations. The Kyrgyz punished Nunes' half-hearted takedown attempt and landed in side control, a takedown in her only attempt.

Nunes is the only person not named Ronda Rousey to successfully defend the bantamweight belt.

Despite Jedrzejczyk's boldness and the fact that she competes at a division 20 pounds south of 135 pounds, the idea of the fight isn't that ridiculous.


Nunes and Shevchenko meet in the main event of International Fight Week, the UFC's annual weeklong celebration of its sport in its hometown. But she isn't anxious about the rematch with Shevchenko.

With the bout confirmed in May due to the champion Michael Bisping's current injury status, a win for either competitor does not only represent a chance at UFC gold for the first time in their careers, but also a guaranteed shot at the middleweight title which is yet to be defended since October 2016. Nunes dominated the second round but then struggled, and Shevchenko pressed forward before running out of time to finish the Brazilian star. Former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler will fight against Donald Cerrone since Tyron Woodley knocked him out at UFC 201.

The hugely decorated former Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion also showed a different side to her MMA game in her most recent outing, submitting Julianna Pena with an armbar to land her first "Performance of the Night" bonus. She showed comfort in allowing Holm to lead, and countered with compact right hooks, repeatedly landing against one of the UFC's most decorated strikers. She now calls Peru home, but trains for her fights largely in Thailand and the U.S.


Fighting is the driving force in her life, but it doesn't define her. Her popularity grew incrementally upon the victory, since it came against arguably the second- or third-most popular fighter in the division. That's where the champion finds herself again; this title defense hovers around a pick 'em, with some books slightly favoring Shevchenko. That was the only competitive portion at UFC 196, and the Kyrgyz has to start faster in what projects as a close fight.

Valentina Shevchenko to win via decision.

With Bisping sidelined, Romero (12-1) - a 40-year-old Cuban with an eight-bout winning streak and an eye-popping physique even by MMA standards - will get his first UFC title shot against Whittaker (19-4), a New Zealand-born Australian who has won seven straight bouts.


What makes it so hard to predict is the obvious adjustment for each fighter from the first meeting.


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