You won’t find anyone in the world more disappointed at UFC 213 than Valentina Shevchenko herself. The main event combatant had spent months in training, preparing for a title shot against an opponent she had already faced before. But all that hard work, all those days of suffering in the gym were for nought.

The champion — Amanda Nunes — pulled out of their title bout, due to sinusitis, of all things.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 09: Amanda Nunes of Brazil warms up backstage during the UFC 200 event on July 9, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Sinusitis?! Really?!

I mean come on. We’ve all come down with the sniffles. While it’s not our place to judge what has truly gone on in the mind of the one they call “Lioness”. We can’t help but wonder how much truth there is to that.

For one, Shevchenko doesn’t buy Nunes’ excuse. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour last Monday, Shevchenko gave her two cents on the whole ordeal.

“I don’t 100% believe that it’s true,” said Shevchenko. “She’s trying to say that this was medical something, like with medicals because of her illness or something like this — because during all this week before the fight, [even] one day before the fight at weigh-ins, or the (open) workouts, everybody saw her in very good health, very aggressive. And even at the weigh-ins, she was saying, ‘I’m ready to give this fight, very good fight and take the victory,’ saying and doing all things aggressive like she did.

“Then after weigh-ins, the day of the fight, she [pulls] out, she says, ‘okay, I was feeling bad all week.’ But at the same time she was saying, every time, that she was feeling very strong and prepared for the fight.”

Dana White was seriously unhappy after Amanda Nunes dropped out of UFC 213…

Most of Nunes’ Pull Out Was Due to the Mental Aspect, Not Physical

What Shevchenko is saying isn’t new. In fact, UFC President Dana White also believes it was mostly a mental hurdle for Nunes. White took to the post-conference to air his frustration at what transpired and can be quoted as saying it was “90 percent mental and maybe 10 percent physical.”

Also fact, doctors had also cleared Nunes to compete but that she pulled out of the bout anyway. Nunes coach Conan Silveira however says that critics and dumb people shouldn’t form their own opinions.

“Even fighters (were) saying she was scared,” Silveira said. “Amanda is not scared of anyone. She retired Miesha Tate, she retired Ronda Rousey. Not to mention that she already beat Valentina by unanimous decision. How did she become scared now? Know the facts before you have your opinion.”

This has probably added fuel to the fire inside of Shevchenko, who is probably still pretty pissed right now.

“I don’t know what she has in her mind, but I see what I see,” Shevchenko continued to say. “She turned down the fight in the very, very last minute, and before the fight she was saying that, ‘I’m ready, I’m feeling good, I’m feeling strong,’ and everybody could see that she was feeling strong, she was feeling aggressive, she was acting in that way in our staredowns before the fight, at the weigh-ins, at the workouts. She was feeling totally healthy.”

Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

And it didn’t end there. Shevchenko continued her verbal distaste.

“I will not be surprised if the next time the UFC gives another date for the fight, she will turn down the fight at the same moment and do this kind of stuff again,” Shevchenko said. “Because every time I [read about] history, I read about how armies use tactics for winning their battles, and sometimes they are doing the same. Like, they prepare for the fight, their opponents prepare for the fight, then in the right moment they are turning down an opponent.

“They’re expecting to relax their opponent [until] an unexpected time for them to attack and win the fight. And of course, I will not be surprised if she will do the same again the next time and try to relax me and wait until the right moment to say, ‘okay, let’s do the fight,’ feeling that I’m not prepared and try to play with this gameplan. But I want to say, it will not happen with me anytime — and she will try to do it anyway — because I’m training every day. It doesn’t matter if I have a fight or don’t have fight, I train at every time and I will be prepared for every time.

And more…

“Usually after the fight, when the fight is over, you feel free,” Shevchenko said. “But this time, I did not feel free, and still, my goal and my mission is not complete. That’s why, for now, my mental situation, my mental condition, I am still in the same fight mode. And okay, it will be a little bit longer than I expected, but I am professional and I take it right now very cold, and I know exactly if I will put too much emotions in my mind, in my head, it will not work.

“For me, that’s why I am just waiting for my time. I will do the same, prepare the same with the same desire to put on my best performance for this fight, and I will do my work, I will do everything to win the fight for the next time.

“I hope that she will complete her part, too, and she will not turn down next time too.”

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  1. “The sniffles?” Apparently having some idea of what you are talking about is not a requirement to write for this site. And before the usual internet idiocy, I am a fan of Shevchenko and was hoping she would win. That being said, chronic sinusitis, which Amanda has discussed before, is far different than “the sniffles.” Inflammation of the nasal passages is not just “the sniffles,” but a condition that limits the ability to breathe and the oxygen exchange of a fighter or any athlete. Furthermore, your “article” conveniently neglects to mention that she saw another doctor, and a CAT scan revealed a blockage, and she was given antibiotics. This would not have occurred if she did not have an infection, as antibiotics do nothing to reduce the inflammation of the sinus cavities.

    Now, when you take a situation where someone can be hit in the nose, such as, say, a fight, tearing of the membranes can result in the spreading of the infection, or sepsis.

    As much as I wanted to watch Valentina win the title Saturday night, Amanda made the right call in not fighting, which is obvious when you actually consider the evidence and the risks involved.

    • Good post. No disagreement. Interesting information about the additional medical opinion.

      Unfortunately, most of the public won’t buy it. Fight fans are the worst.

      What gets me, is what seemed to be, bad preparation for a championship fight. Valentina has been questioning Nune’s professionalism regarding the weight cut — I don’t blame her. I think Amanda needs to reassess who she has for a coach or nutritionist and make some changes.

    • It is insane what some people either believe (a world champ faking illness because she is scared of an opponent she already beat) or expect of these fighters. If your equilibrium is off, you should not be fighting. If your sinuses are full and you can’t breathe well, you should not get punched in the face. They are warriors, but also humans. And all those supposed fans, really, would you rather see a sick fighter get beaten up or an actual fair contest? The first is not MMA to me. And a fighter has to be allowed to make the decision if they can compete or not.

  2. @Atilano Diaz next time you suffer from sinusitis I invite you to visit me an I punch you in the face. Maybe this way you stop writing uneducated stuff. Dude…. that article is just a zero.

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