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Montano: Valentina Shevchenko and Paige VanZant don’t deserve a shot at my flyweight title

MMA: TUF 26 Finale Montano vs Modafferi Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight No. 1 contender, Valentina Shevchenko, is dropping down to the flyweight division after her split-decision loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 215 last September.

Let’s hope “Bullet” isn’t planning to make a run at the title, because she hasn't proven jack-squat at 125 pounds. Neither has strawweight import Paige VanZant, who is coming up a division to make some noise in her new weight class.

That’s according to newly-crowned flyweight champion Nicco Montano (via MMA Hour):

“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. I would like it to be Sarge, I think she deserves another chance. She made it through six weeks of hell doing that. I was there watching, I was there partaking in that six-week period, so I know how much heart she has and how much she’s wanting this.”

No doubt about that.

Montano captured the crown by turning away Roxanne Modafferi at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 26 Finale on Dec. 1 after her original opponent, Sijara Eubanks, failed to make weight and was hospitalized the day before the event.

No word yet from promotion matchmakers on who Montano can expect as her first title defense, but they’ll have to weigh the in-cage accomplishments of Shevchenko and VanZant against the TUF 26 merits of Eubanks.

Any suggestions?

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