UFC 228: Former flyweight champ Nicco Montano is removed and challenger Valentina Shevchenko is ‘very upset’
The UFC informed the media earlier today that flyweight champion Nicco Montano (4-2-0) has been removed from her title defence fight with Valentina Shevchenko (15-3-0) after she was hospitalized cutting weight for the fight.
The decision to remove Montano was made by the Texas Department of Licensing Regulation, along with the UFC, who issued the following statement on its website:
As a precautionary measure, UFC flyweight Nicco Montaño was transported to a medical facility Friday morning due to health concerns.
The scheduled flyweight championship bout between Montaño and Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 has been cancelled.
Shevchenko, who weighed in at 124.5 pounds, took to her Instagram account to voice her displeasure.
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!
Montano won the title defeating Roxanne Modafferi in the finals of TUF 26 last December.
The UFC has upgraded the Jessica Andrade (18-6-0) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-2-0) strawweight bout to the co-main event with the Jimmie Rivera (21-2-0) vs. John Dodson (20-9-0) contest moved to the main card. Also, Geoff Neal (9-2-0) and Frank Camacho (21-6-0) wlll now battle on the FX prelims instead of the Fight Pass prelims.
UPDATE: UFC President Dana White has stripped Nicco Montano of the flyweight belt and stated that Valentina Shevchenko will fight an opponent to be named later at a later date for the belt.