Nicco Montano’s world got turned upside down over UFC 228 fight week. She walked in the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, only to end up in the hospital because of a bad weight cut. As she left, she learned over the Internet that Dana White had stripped her of her title. Following the event she released an angry statement with some choice words for her original Dallas opponent Valentina Shevchenko, and now she’s opening up on “The MMA Hour” as to what went wrong.
”I came in on Tuesday at 144 pounds,” she revealed to Luke Thomas. “I was 141 last time, that was a little heavy, too, that was coming off the TUF show and a pretty tough cut. It’s all kind of my biology at this point, it’s kinda hard to guarantee anything until my body is cooperating and not rebelling.”
”I think it was just the amount of time,” she said when asked what went wrong. “I came in a little heavy because I was trying to race the clock to be on weight for this fight. I knew from the beginning, I knew I was going to have to sacrifice a lot of performances in the gym leading up to the fight because this camp was all about making weight.
”I tried to ask or push for [October], but the threat of getting my belt stripped was that, if I hadn’t picked September there was the threat of getting my belt stripped. So why just give up then? I tried to push through.”
When asked to clarify that UFC had threatened to strip her if she didn’t accept a UFC 228 defense, Montano replied, “Not in such bold wording, but yeah.”
Also kind of gross was how Montano learned she was stripped. In typical UFC fashion, the news went out to the media before anyone bothered to give her or her management a call.
”I was going through Instagram and I saw an interview with Dana White saying the title has been stripped,” Montano said. “I was getting out of the hospital and I was like, ‘Alrighty, then.’”
Like I said from the get-go, it’s kind of understandable that they want to get things rolling, it’s just sad that they have to do it on behalf of my health,” she continued. “And I suppose I could have said no to the fight in September and get stripped then anyway. But I still would have looked like I was scared or something and I already had a bunch of people on the internet being crazy. So I just wanted to show people that I was making an effort and being proactive by taking this fight, knowing that it was going to be up in the air about making weight, and that was going to be the biggest issue.”
”It was definitely pretty sad. It was disheartening. I didn’t want to have anything to do with the UFC for a bit after that, my short temper was like, ‘Eff this, you just almost died for a company that doesn’t even call you to see if you’re alive?’ Personally, I was like, ‘Screw you’, on the business level, I can see it from a different perspective. I can see what they have to do or think they have to do.”
”It’s still pretty disheartening as far as what’s going to happen with my career,” she finished. “Am I gonna want to stay in the UFC? We’re going to want to stay in the UFC just to fight Valentina eventually. But, with anything else, it’s like what else is the motivation?”