UFC president Dana White continues to pledge that a super card pay-per-view is set for May 9 despite not having a location, venue or finalized card. As of Monday, he also won’t have one of UFC’s most dominant and popular fighters available for that still-nebulous event.
UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes announced Monday that she will not participate in the May 9 event. Speaking to CBS Sports, the out fighter revealed her decision was due in part to the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on her ability to complete a full fight camp ahead of her scheduled featherweight title defense against Felicia Spencer.
“I don’t think this is the right time for me right now to fight. Let this coronavirus pass a little bit so I can at least have a full camp. We can maybe see around June, [but] let’s see what is going to happen,” Nunes said.
Nunes’ title defense was set to be one of three title bouts on the proposed May 9 card, alongside an interim UFC lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje and a bantamweight title defense pitting champion Henry Cejudo against former champion Dominick Cruz.
While she has been able to train at American Top Team facilities in Florida under some form of social distancing guidelines and her home gym, Nunes clearly doesn’t believe that constitutes the right level of preparation heading into a title bout.
Nunes is the latest out UFC fighter to see the coronavirus impact a scheduled matchup. Fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade’s rematch against Rose Namajunas scheduled for the ill-fated UFC 249 card fell through after Namajunas pulled out of the fight following the death of two family members from COVID-19.
The UFC double champion will continue to keep an eye on the evolving health crisis, but she remains excited about fighting Spencer when the time is right. “I like to fight girls like her — tough, want to fight all the time, she’s not a running fighter,” Nunes told CBS Sports. “She’s really going to bring that and I love it. That brings out the best in me.”