Dana White has confirmed that Nicco Montano is no longer the UFC women’s flyweight champion after pulling out of her co-main event title fight against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 tomorrow.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 7, 2018
“What happens now is the title is now vacant,” White said. “The title is now vacant. Valentina has been dying to fight for this title, so we’re in the process of setting up a new fight.”
Montano missed out on her first title fight when she was taken to an area hospital out of concern for her safety following a brutal weight cut. She never even weighed in for the event. Montano’s teammate told MMAFighting.com that during Montano’s weight cut, the UFC’s medical team determined that she couldn’t continue and transported her to the hospital to address her kidney function.
Montano(4-2 MMA) captured the flyweight title with a victory over Roxanne Modafferi at TUF 26 Finale last December. She was about to make her Octagon return after being on the sideline for nine months due to a foot injury and an infection that eventually led to her tonsils being removed.
Shevchenko(15-3 MMA) was not pleased with Montano’s pullout and took to social media to criticize the former champion.
“I told it before, she can pull out from the fight at anytime,” Shevchenko wrote on her Instagram page. “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.”
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) September 7, 2018