Now that fight fans can get back to the real world of MMA after the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Jr. circus, it's time for some UFC main events to live up to the billing.
But every so often, and UFC 215 is no exception, main events fall apart at the last possible second. Late Thursday night, just 48 hours before UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson's potential record-breaking title defense against Ray Borg, the fight was called off, per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting.
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
BREAKING: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg UFC 215 main event canceled — https://t.co/foO0kmTR97 https://t.co/fbxF0ze38J2017-9-8 04:32:21
Borg had an illness, but to his credit, he made the best effort to perform his media obligations and not make any excuses. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't medically cleared to fight Saturday. And with that, Johnson's history-making performance will just have to wait a little longer.
How much longer has yet to be determined.
Replacing the main event is an exciting matchup between women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko in a rematch of their closely contested three-round war back in March of last year.
UFC Europe @UFCEurope
We go again tonight! Joe Rogan previews @Amanda_Leoa vs. @BulletValentina at #UFC215! https://t.co/ODqI7phZSr2017-9-9 09:17:01
Shevchenko has continued to improve into much more than a stand-up, muay thai fighter. She proved to the world she can fight with anyone, anywhere, in any skill set when she was able to submit Julianna Pena via an armbar in her most recent fight, back in January of this year.
Nunes, to her credit, hasn't been a slouch, either.
She dismantled Ronda Rousey on Rowdy's return to the Octagon in the first round, stifling any movement Rousey attempted to make toward her. It was a one-sided beatdown that proved to all of her doubters she is the deserving bantamweight champion.
In her path once again is Shevchenko, who is looking to erase the memory of only the second defeat of her MMA career.
Nunes is the champion for a reason, and she has already proved she can beat Shevchenko inside of the Octagon.
While the argument can be made Shevchenko was the better fighter for the third round of their first fight, Nunes has said herself that she wasn't training to go the distance when they first fought, per Steven Marrocco and Mike Bohn of MMAjunkie. This time, she has.
An in-shape Nunes is frightening. After all, there's a reason she's called The Lioness.
"I must finish Valentina. I must prove I'm better than her." @Amanda_Leoa 😳 #UFC215 https://t.co/m2vxmIpjYY2017-9-7 17:00:17
Nunes will look to put the pressure on Shevchenko early and often in the first round to get the challenger back-pedaling against the cage and prevent her from sizing up Nunes' reach.
Shevchenko will have her moments in the fight, including a few straight kicks to Nunes' body to take out the Brazilian's power in her hands, but she won't have much success trying to get into the clinch with Nunes, where she would have a distinct advantage over the champion.
Nunes won't knock out Shevchenko or get a finish, but she will win in dominant fashion, proving once again why she's the undisputed 135-pound women's champion with a unanimous-decision victory.