Nicco Montano was unceremoniously stripped of her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight title after she was unable to defend her strap for the first time against Valentina Shevchenko last Saturday (Sept. 8, 2018) at UFC 228 due to medical issues.
Read her response to the move by UFC officials here.
While the news was terrible for Nicco, Valentina, unfortunately, was unable to compete in Dallas, Texas. An upset “Bullet” -- who was dumb-founded by Nicco coming in drastically overweight — says she is finally moving on from Montano and the only say’s she will ever sign on the dotted line to face her is if she earns it.
“I’m moving on,” she said during a recent appearance on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show (via ESPN). “If at some point she will show that she deserves this fight, that she really knows where she’s going and is ready for this fight -- I think she is not ready for this fight, but if in the future she will show it, I will think about it.”
The division must move along, as well, and Valentina -- rightfully so -- will fight for the vacant 125-pound strap against an opponent to be named later this year. Among the most popular votes to get the fight is former Strawweight title holder Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Given their history in the muay-thai arena where Valentina defeated Joanna three times, the fight will be easy to promote and really interests Shevchenko. That’s becasue she knows she will be signing on the dotted line to face a “professional.”
“The division has to move, the division has to fight and the belt has to be in play. The fight for the belt has to happen before the end of the year. I will gladly fight Joanna because she’s a real professional fighter,” she added.
Indeed, Christmas may have come early for Joanna, who has been desperately trying to score a third title fight against current 115-pound champion Rosa Namajunas, who has defeated her two straight times.
And since Jessica Andrade likely punched her ticket (literally) to a strawweight title fight over the weekend, it may not be a bad move for Joanna to start lobbying for the championship showdown.