Nicco Montano has been crowned the UFC’s first ever flyweight champion after defeating Roxanne Modafferi at the TUF 26 Finale in Las Vegas.
Montano had originally been scheduled to fight Sijara Eubanks in the finale of the show to decide the inaugural 125lb champion, but kidney failure took her opponent out of the fight a day earlier and so semi-finalist Modaferri was promoted from a bout with Barb Honchak on the main card to get a dream chance to fight for the title.
With Montano only sporting a 3-2 record heading into the TUF show, she was at a major experience disadvantage to the 35-fight veteran Modafferi, but that wasn’t evident on the night as she got the better of her opponent from start to finish.
Modafferi hung in there as best she could and made it a competitive fight, but Montano was landing the better strikes on the feet throughout, managed to take her opponent down multiple times and generally was in control of the proceedings, though Modafferi did threaten to make that all for naught in the final round when she seized upon an armbar submission, but couldn’t finish it.
So, Montano wins the flyweight title and will no doubt soon be a target for big-name fighters looking to muscle their way into the newly formed division, with former bantamweight title contender Valentina Shevchenko being star who has her eye on fighting for the belt in 2018.