Nicco Montano is no longer the UFC’s flyweight champion after her title was taken from her after a disastrous weight cut led to her being hospitalized before she even had a chance to step on the scales yesterday ahead of her first ever title defense against Valentina Shevchenko.
“The belt becomes vacated,” White revealed following yesterday’s UFC 228 weigh-ins. “So the title is vacated. Obviously, Shevchenko is dying to fight for this title so we’re in the process right now of trying to make another fight…before the end of the year.”
The 29-year-old Montano was a major underdog when she entered into The Ultimate Fighter 26 with a 3-2 record, but she’d go on to beat the likes of Lauren Murphy and Barb Honchak en-route to the final, before defeating Roxanne Modafferi to become the first ever women’s flyweight champion in the UFC.
Since then Montano has been out of action due to a foot injury and also suffered an illness that led to her having her tonsils removed.
Her first title defense against Shevchenko always looked like a daunting challenge, and indeed since the fight was called off ‘Bullet’ has accused the former champion of running scared from her.
“I told it before, she can pull out from the fight at anytime,” Shevchenko wrote on Instagram. “She was trying to avoid this fight several times already. It is my (third) preparation for this fight.
“Looks like it was her plan from the beginning, to show up for the fight week, to build up her name, speak confident and secure, and then escape from the fight in the last minutes.”