As the UFC prepares to hold fights again, it will do so without one of its biggest stars.
Double champion Amanda Nunes told CBS Sports on Monday she will not defend her women’s featherweight title against Felicia Spencer at the promotion’s planned event on April 9 – the company’s first since postponing all events because of the coronavirus pandemic. The site for the event, which was supposed to be UFC 250 in Rio de Janeiro, is still to be determined.
Nunes, also the women’s bantamweight champion, didn’t feel the timing was right under the circumstances.
“I don’t think this is the right time for me right now to fight,” Nunes said. “Let this coronavirus pass a little bit so I can at least have a full camp. We can maybe see around June, let’s see what is going to happen. But I’m not fighting [May 9].”
Nunes’ agent Dan Lambert told ESPN that she had a small injury that hasn’t fully healed when she began training and she needs more time. The 31-year-old Brazilian noted that she has been able to train at her home gym of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., while practicing social distancing. But it’s led to her having far from a full camp because it is only open to fighters with upcoming bouts and limited staff.
“It’s not many people, just me and a couple guys that are going to be on the same card as me,” Nunes said. “We all have separate training with just me and my coach, one on one.”
UFC postponed UFC 249 after pressure from California governor Gavin Newsom and top executives from broadcast partners Disney and ESPN.