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Amanda Nunes fights back after UFC 213 withdrawal

Updated July 9, 2017 - 6:04 pm

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes may not have been able to compete at UFC 213 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, but she was ready to put up a fight Sunday.

A day after UFC president Dana White called out Nunes for the reasons behind her withdrawal being “90 percent mental,” Nunes posted a lengthy message to her Twitter page explaining she suffers from chronic sinusitis.

“I have fought with it before but this time it didn’t work out,” Nunes wrote. “During the weight cut I was unable to breathe and felt off-balance from the pressure in my sinuses. I was not feeling well enough to risk getting punched in the head with such pressure.”

According to White, Nunes was told by UFC doctors she could compete on the card after an examination on Friday.

“She was medically cleared, physically OK,” White said on Saturday night. “They found nothing wrong with her, but she didn’t feel right. You can’t make anybody fight. Was it the weight cut? No. She might have been affected by the weight cut, but she was healthy.

“It was 90 percent mental and probably 10 percent physical. A lot of fighters have had times they didn’t feel right and we’ve had guys who are outright sick. I don’t think I’ve ever had a situation where (a fighter who) was physically capable of fighting (withdraws). “

Valentina Shevchenko was frustrated to learn she would no longer be able to challenge Nunes for the belt at UFC 213.

“It’s a big, huge event,” Shevchenko said. “You can’t just say, ‘Oh no, I don’t feel good today.’”

Nunes addressed the premise that she was cleared to compete and therefore wasn’t really sick.

“I was taken to the hospital after weigh-ins and they only checked my blood and dehydration so they cleared me based on that,” she wrote. “The next day I went back and they did a CT scan and found a buildup and they prescribed antibiotics and referred (me) to a specialist. I have never pulled out of a fight before. I am sorry to all my fans that came out to see me. I’ll make it up to you the next time I step in the cage.”

The fight is expected to be rescheduled for the UFC 215 card in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Sept. 9, though the booking is not yet confirmed.

White stated late Saturday he will have a hard time booking Nunes in the main event of that card or any other event going forward due to the way Saturday unfolded.

Nunes is ready to get back in the cage as soon as she’s healthy.

“I still want this fight,” she wrote. “I still want this opponent.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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