Strength under the Spotlight in Vegas

ufc-213The big week for the UFC was supposed to end with a big card at UFC 213 that included a chance for Amanda Nunes to step into her own spotlight in the main event.

That card took a big hit the day of the fight though as Amanda Nunes was hospitalised with an illness and the main event was cancelled.

The Bantamweight title fight was replaced by the interim title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker.

It was the latest in what has been a bad pattern in the UFC where more fighters are seemingly getting sick just before the fight.

It is never a good thing to lose a fight like in The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale but when losing the main event it is even worse.

All of the work that goes into building that fight is lost and when the Nunes-Shevchenko fight was cancelled there was little time to build the new main event.

Although the reports about Nunes don’t really say why she fell ill other than she was not feeling 100% throughout the week, many of the illnesses that have come recently are due to troubles cutting weight.

Weight cutting has always been a big issue in fighting as fighters are constantly looking for ways to take advantage of their natural ability like getting more power against smaller fighters.

They are trying to get the best matchups but often they take things too far and have trouble cutting weight.

They get to the weigh-in day and they are either overweight or they get to weigh-in day and can’t even stand because of their weight cut.

Despite a number of people out there that can teach fighters how to cut safely or the suggestions for fighters to fight at a more natural weight they continue to take risks and more and more it seems like they are paying the price.

If it comes out that Nunes was struggling to cut weight it is a champion that simply isn’t doing things right.

For Nunes, who was looking to step out of the shadow as the leader of a new era of women’s fighting, one without Rousey or Tate, this is the worst thing that could have happened.

That is not a championship thing to do as cutting weight is part of the game and champions rarely struggle with their weight cuts because they have figured things out.

Nunes will have some damage control to do after this, if it is about weight cutting, and the UFC is likely not very happy about losing their main event because a fighter might not have been professional enough to cut weight properly.

Still, the UFC had a good back-up as they were featuring an interim title fight in the co-main event.

It was another fight that was changed from its original form due to injury but still a big fight between two top contenders in the middleweight division.

The fight featured the top contender in Yoel Romero just looking for his shot at the belt after working his way through almost everyone else in the division.mma-sidebar.fw

Then there was the guy that nobody thought would be here until he continued an impressive win streak throughout 2016 in Robert Whittaker.

The Aussie was not necessarily on the radar of the UFC in the middleweight division until he started to beat up on other top contenders.

When that began happening he started to get more attention and although he is still not the biggest name in the division he got his shot to change that by taking the interim title and earning a shot against Michael Bisping.

Romero was a little different though as he has been one of the bigger names in the division for a long time.

The Cuban wrestler who took home multiple Olympic medals is one of the most physically imposing fighters in the division and has a different level of wrestling than most fighters have ever experienced.

He has fought just about everyone in the division and has been looking for a shot at the title for a while, almost getting it before Bisping underwent surgery.

Romero started well coming and out looking to take the fight to his world on the mat, getting the fight to the ground at the beginning of the fight.

Whittaker was not entirely overmatched though as his takedown defence was great throughout the fight.

As Romero got more tired things began to swing though as Whittaker was able to stop more of the takedowns and keep the fight standing.

That is where he was better as Romero was never fully committed to the stand-up game and rarely threw the big shots.

Despite hurting his knee in the first round Whittaker was able to stay mobile and land a lot of shots against Romero.

The tides turned quickly in the fight and Romero lost his top contender spot, largely due to his lack of cardio.

Now Whittaker will take on Bisping for the title in a match-up of two great strikers with two of the longest win streaks in the division.

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