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Amanda Nunes’ coach reacts to criticism from UFC president Dana White

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Amanda Nunes was criticized for pulling out of the UFC 213 main event Saturday in Las Vegas, and finally revealed why she wasn’t able to compete with Valentina Shevchenko.

The Brazilian bantamweight was battling a chronic sinusitis during fight week, which eventually forced her out of the card.

"She was already feeling it before the weigh-ins,” Nunes’ coach Conan Silveira told MMA Fighting. "Las Vegas is too hot, so I think that contributed to her chronic sinusitis, and the weight cut doesn’t help since you dehydrate. I don’t want to blame the weight cut, but it definitely doesn’t help.

“That has happened before, but we managed to come back, but it wasn’t as hard as this time. People don’t understand that that’s a big responsibility. You invest a lot to get to this position. You have to be 100 percent."

Nunes fought in Las Vegas four times before during her UFC career, defeating Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko after suffering her only UFC loss against Cat Zingano. Like in her previous bouts, the Brazilian left Florida to Nevada days before the event to acclimate, but she wasn’t well enough to compete and defend her belt.

Silveira was at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night to corner other American Top Team fighters, including Thiago Santos in his knockout win, and wasn’t happy with the criticism towards Nunes.

"Critics and dumb people get together and form an opinion that doesn’t exist,” Silveira said. "Even fighters saying she was scared. Amanda is not scared of anyone. She retired Miesha Tate, she retired Ronda Rousey. Not to mention that she already beat Valentina by unanimous decision. How did she become scared now? Know the facts before you have your opinion.”

UFC president Dana White was one of those who criticized the bantamweight queen, revealing that Nunes was cleared by the doctors and still said she couldn’t fight.

"If you have a mouth you can say whatever you want,” Silveira said of White’s comments. "Every person has their own opinion. What he said is what a promoter says. It was enough for him to hear the doctor clearing her, but at the end of the day, Amanda is the one who steps in there to fight. Opinions from everyone else are nothing but opinions. You have to respect her decision. She’s the champion. What everyone else says means nothing.”

At the post-fight press conference, White said Nunes wouldn’t fight even after getting cleared by doctors, but mentioned that doctors would clear Donald Cerrone to face Robbie Lawler at the same night before the UFC president pulled the plug on the welterweight bout.

"If any other fighter is ill, nobody says anything. Everyone has this right. But she doesn’t because the champion? She has no right to get ill?” Silveira responds. "He’s the promoter and has his opinion. That’s what he got from the doctor. Amanda went back to the hospital the next morning (Saturday) and did other tests and they saw she had chronic sinusitis and gave her antibiotics."

According to White, the initial plan is to move Nunes vs. Shevchenko for UFC 215, which takes place Sept. 9 in Edmonton, Canada. The Brazilian star is still recovering from the illness, but Silveira is confident that she will be able to compete that date.

"The fight will happen. We want Valentina,” he said. "They will set a new date, and I’ll tell you this: the result won’t be any different than what we had planned. No disrespect to Valentina, she’s a great opponent and a great fight for Amanda, but our final answer will be on fight night, with Amanda defending her belt. That’s the best answer to those who talk too much."

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