As reported overnight via ESPN, two-weight UFC champion Amanda Nunes (20-4) has withdrawn from her scheduled featherweight title defence against Megan Anderson (11-4) next month through an undisclosed injury. The promotion are preparing to move the matchup to a date early next year, but haven’t yet announced a new main event for 2020’s final pay-per-view.
In another unfortunate blow just a month before fight night, Nunes’ upcoming outing in the Octagon will be moved to 2021 – having sustained an undisclosed injury forcing her to withdraw.
Anderson, preparing for her first UFC title challenge here, is 3-2 in the promotion and has won all three fights via first-round finishes (one KO, one TKO, one submission).
Her last display back in February this year earned her Performance of the Night bonus honours, blasting Norma Dumont Viana in just under four minutes.
Nunes last defended her featherweight strap in June at UFC 250, where she was utterly dominant against a spirited Felicia Spencer showing.
Anderson was understandably disappointed upon hearing the news, taking to Twitter on Monday before wishing Amanda well and revealing they’ll reschedule it early next year.
During a statement, she was quoted as saying:
“All I was told was she had a ‘serious medical issue’ and that they’re working on rescheduling the bout currently. Obviously, it sucks – we’ve been working so hard for this, but I hope she has a speedy recovery and the goal remains the same. Nothing has ever come easy for me.
This is just another part of the journey and we’ll be ready for whatever date they set. Our time is coming one way or another.”
Widely regarded as the greatest female fighter of all-time, Nunes holds the 135 and 145-pound titles and is enjoying a six-year unbeaten streak. She and her partner, #5 ranked UFC strawweight Nina Ansaroff, celebrated the birth of a daughter in September.
What’s next for an injury-stricken PPV card?
It’s the second title fight that has been scrapped from this card, after welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (injuries) pulled out of his defence against former training partner Gilbert Burns.
Amanda Ribas’ strawweight bout with Carla Esparza was scrapped after the latter withdrew, while a middleweight matchup – Omari Akmedov (#13) and Marvin Vettori (#14) – was also lost.
It seems as though the earlier these fights are being confirmed, the more likely they are to be cancelled one way or another, and rescheduled for early 2021. However, it also allows others an opportunity to flourish on a PPV card, like featherweights Billy Quarantillo and Chase Hooper.
Naturally, the headliner now is Petr Yan’s first bantamweight title defence against Aljamain Sterling, which will probably be moved up from co-main to the main event matchup now.
Announced bouts, as it stands
Running order to be decided:
UFC Bantamweight title: Petr Yan (c) vs Aljamain Sterlin
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori vs Jacare Souza
Heavyweight: Junior dos Santos vs Ciryl Gane
Women’s strawweight: Tecia Torres vs Angela Hill
Featherweight: Billy Quarantillo vs Gavin Tucker
Heavyweight: Jared Vanderaa vs Sergey Spivak
Women’s strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs Virna Jandiroba
Featherweight: Chase Hooper vs Peter Barrett
Middleweight: Karl Roberson vs Dalcha Lungiambula
Welterweight: Li Jingliang vs Dwight Grant
Pictures’ source: MMAjunkie