When it comes to facing Valentina Shevchenko, Nicco Montano did, in fact, “escape,” despite Shevchenko’s vow to the contrary that she wouldn’t. Her alleged ‘getaway’ cost her the flyweight championship, however, and inevitably led to the dominant reign of Shevchenko’s still going strong today.
The following article is presented in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
On This Day Four Years Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 26, 2018, 9:40 AM]
Author: Ian Carey
Valentina Shevchenko believes UFC flyweight champion, Nicco Montano, is all out of reasons not to fight her. She is coming for her title.
29-year-old, Nicco Montano, won the 26th season of the Ultimate Fighter and the UFC women’s flyweight championship in December. She was scheduled to face Sijara Eubanks in the finals of the tournament but a harsh weight cut caused a last-minute opponent change. Loveable MMA veteran, Roxanne Modafferi, was given the opportunity but ultimately dropped a unanimous decision to Montano.
UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Nicco Montano
Montano is a Navajo Nation member from the community of Lukachukai. After winning the championship in December, she was honored by the Navajo Nation with a plaque and ceremony at the 23rd Navajo Nation ceremony.
After winning the title, however, Montano stated that neither Shevchenko nor Paige VanZant (who has also been looking for a title shot at 125lbs) has earned a title fight.
“I’m definitely not scared because it’s the name of the game. You want to fight the best so that you can prove to everybody else that you are the best, but right now the best is not Shevchenko at ‘25. She hasn’t fought at that weight. It’s not Paige VanZant, she hasn’t fought at that weight either. So I think it’s pretty silly and I’m a person who wants fair fights and so I just don’t think they are deserving of it right now.”
At the time Montano made the above comments, Shevchenko had not fought at 125lbs in the UFC. That changed on February 3rd, 2018, when she submitted Priscila Cachoeira in her flyweight debut.
“I did fight at 125, I did my job, I did everything. So she just doesn’t have a reason to decline the fight.” – Valentina Shevchenko
Shevchenko appeared on the MMA Hour recently and went into further detail regarding a potential bout against Montano.
“Let’s see how she will act, because no one has heard [anything] about her, she’s not saying [anything] until now,” Shevchenko said. “Let’s see how she responds. But my opinion, if she is holding the belt, she has to defend it. She cannot just escape, and she cannot just find another reason to not fight or fight with another opponent.”
Originally it was believed Montano was targetting a fight with Sijara Eubanks for her first defence. Eubanks is now scheduled against Lauren Murphy for June 1st, however. It appears the UFC is looking at Shevchenko vs Montano to take place later this year.
“She’s holding the belt,” Shevchenko said. “This is everything.”