Amanda Nunes has withdrawn from her featherweight title defence against Megan Anderson at UFC 256.
The Brazilian was due to defend her featherweight title for a third time in December, following her win over Felicia Spencer at UFC 250. The reasons for her withdrawal are unknown currently.
Nunes is currently the bantamweight and featherweight champion and teased retirement following her last bout, which took her to 11 wins in a row. Herself and partner Nina Ansaroff, a UFC strawweight herself, had a baby earlier this year which made the retirement talk a bit stronger too.
The UFC never officially announced the bout between Nunes and Anderson but it had been confirmed by multiple parties and was due to co-headline the UFC 256 pay-per-view as the final big card of the year.
Originally the card was due to have Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns, but the Nigerian fighter withdrew through injury. The fight was quickly replaced by Petr Yan’s first bantamweight title defence, where he will fight Aljamain Sterling.
Nunes’ withdrawal will be a big hit to the UFC, who were hoping to put together a huge card to close out what has been a crazy year for the organisation.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic hitting, they were the first sports company to return behind closed doors and they have continued to be the leading sport churning out over 30 events.
With Nunes out of UFC 256, it’s unknown what the future of the card will be and if there will be any kind of replacement. With a title fight already on the card, the likelihood of them scrambling to find another at short notice is low, but they could attempt to find a big fight to take it’s place without a belt.
Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson have been linked with a December date for a potential lightweight fight, so that could be thrown into the mix but it’s also possible that the UFC just opt to put all their eggs in the Yan-Sterling basket and hope it lives up to all the expectation surrounding it.
Either way, Nunes won’t be fighting again until 2021.