Nicco Montano’s UFC Women’s Flyweight Title reign will come with no defenses and no bouts since first winning the title.
As first reported by ESPN, UFC President Dana White told Phil Murphy in an interview that the “title is now vacant” after Montano failed to weigh in on Sept. 7, being transported to the hospital for “health concerns,” per the UFC. According to White, Montano was so far overweight that there was no chance Montano would make the 125-pound limit, and UFC officials stopped her weight cut.
UFC president Dana White tells us Nicco Montaño will vacate the flyweight title after having to cut short her weight cut at UFC 228.
Title challenger Valentina Shevchenko will fight for the vacant belt as soon as she’s able, per White.
— Phil Murphy (@Phil_Sports) September 7, 2018
“As a precautionary measure, UFC flyweight Nicco Montaño was transported to a medical facility Friday morning due to health concerns,” the UFC said in a statement on its website. “The scheduled flyweight championship bout between Montaño and Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 has been canceled.”
Montano has not competed since becoming the division’s inaugural champion by winning The Ultimate Fighter season 26 last December, defeating Roxanne Modafferi in the final. During 2018, Montano has dealt with a foot injury and had her tonsils removed.
Valentina Shevchenko will not remain on the card, as all the remaining female fighters at UFC 228 compete at strawweight and bantamweight. White hopes to get a fight for her as soon as possible with the now-vacant title on the line.
After a controversial split decision in a failed title challenge of Amanda Nunes almost exactly one year ago, Shevchenko dropped from 135 to 125 and defeated Priscila Cachoeira in February to earn a title shot.
Shevchenko has publicly stated doubts of Montano making it to the event, and the Peruvian-Kyrgyz fighter took to Instagram to comment after the incident.
View this post on Instagram
I am not surprised about this situation with Nicco. And I told it before, she can pull out from the fight at anytime. She was trying to avoid this fight several times already. It is my 3rd 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. She was speaking about Fighting spirit and character…. What kind of fighting spirit she is talking about? I don’t believe in a version about health issues, she was looking totally fine in open work out and media day. Her actions are totally unprofessional! First of all I am very sorry for all my fans who came to support me! I am very upset about all this happening. I was preparing for this fight hard and serious. My plan was to leave Dallas with the belt. I will keep moving forward. And will seize the next opportunity to take what is mine. Thank you everyone of my dear friends for your support!
Original Story: ESPN