The juggling act that is UFC matchmaking continues, with the UFC 213 pay-per-view no longer featuring a semi-superfight between champ Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw.
Garbrandt, it seems, is still trying to get that back injury fixed.
Instead, the event will have Amanda Nunes versus Valentina Shevchenko as a headliner, and a co-main event of Yoel Romero versus Robert Whittaker for the interim middleweight title.
As per ESPN:
UFC president Dana White told ESPN.com on Tuesday that a bantamweight title fight between Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw has been officially called off, due to a Garbrandt back injury.
According to White, Dillashaw (14-3) will be rebooked to a flyweight title fight against 10-time defending champion Demetrious Johnson in August. Johnson, though, said later Tuesday that he’s not interested in such a fight.
Meanwhile, a newly announced interim middleweight title fight featuring Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker will serve as the UFC 213 co-main event, White said. The card will be headlined by female bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (14-4), who is defending her title against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2).
White told ESPN.com he decided to create an interim 185-pound title after speaking to the division’s current champion, Michael Bisping, on Tuesday. Bisping (30-7) hasn’t defended his title since October and is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
The changes to UFC 213 come after weeks of speculation on Garbrandt’s health. Earlier this month, the UFC sent the 25-year-old champion to a stem cell specialist in Germany and had hoped he would be able to remain on the card. Ultimately, Garbrandt needed more time.