Dana White, the UFC President, just declared that Nicco Montaño is no longer the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. Montaño (4-2-0) was scheduled to fight Peruvian-Kyrgyz Valentina Shevchenko (15-3-0) on Saturday at UFC 228 in Dallas, Texas. White announced the cancellation at the FS1 UFC 228 show on Friday.
Montaño was cutting weight early Friday and was transported to the hospital for kidney issues. For such a brutal sport with difficult weight requirements, it is crucial that UFC covers their bases to make sure that their athletes’ health is in good standing before competition. At the TUF 26 Finale on December 1st, 2017 in Las Vegas, Montaño was scheduled to fight Sijara Eubanks, who was hospitalized for dangerous weight cutting. Roxanne Modafferi took her spot, and Montaño beat her to win the inaugural flyweight champion title.
The 29-year-old from Lechee, Arizona received mixed reactions from fans and critics on Twitter. Some suggested that the UFC and Dana White stripped her of the title due to their entertainment demands. Others said that if a fighter cannot safely and healthily stay in the weight class that they perform in, then they should not be allowed to compete.
Montaño’s team released this statement to the press,
“She will be fine in a few days… The UFC medical team was called in to evaluate her this morning during the process of her weight cut. They determined that she had to cease cutting weight and be transported to and treated at the local hospital for issues regarding her kidney function.”
This was the first time that Montaño was called on to defend her title. Shevchenko last beat Brazilian Priscila Cachoeira in February to be able to compete on Saturday against Montaño. Shevchenko responded to the news that the fight was dropped by saying, “Nicco Montaño didn’t want to fight from the beginning.” UFC is working on finding someone for Shevchenko to fight for the now vacant title position that Montaño first held.
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