Nicco Montano’s UFC 228 title defense turned into a big dumpster fire on Friday afternoon when the inaugural women’s Flyweight champion was unable to make 125 pounds, ending up instead at a hospital with failing kidneys. Her title fight with Valentina Shevchenko? Cancelled. Her belt? Stripped by Dana White soon after.
A bit harsh? For sure. But, after 10 months of inactivity and a weight flub, the UFC was clearly out of patience. Now Nicco is left defending nothing more than her honor as people compare her less than triumphant title run to Germaine de Randamie’s, who was stripped of the 145 pound belt for refusing to face #1 contender Cris Cyborg.
Here’s Nicco’s latest statement, via her Instagram...
And you can read it in full here:
I want to say thank you to all my continued supporter, unfortunately my first time ever missing weight means the loss of my title that I’ve worked my ass off for. And if you ask me it’s completely uncalled for, there have been plenty other fighters who have not been punished for a lot more, unfortunately I’m not one to be running my mouth so I don’t bring in the big bucks.
I had stopped sweating early, my kidneys shut down, and I had an imbalance of electrolytes, my sodium levels were way too high. When I got to the hospital the doctor had told me that it was the best idea, that if I had waited even 30min longer it could’ve led to cardias issues. With that said I had no intention to drop out of the fight. I looked good at open workouts. There have been multiple occasions where athletes after the TUF show have been metabolically impaired. It take a little longer to allow yourself the time to bounce back to your proper weight. In my case it was that with the accusation of illness and injury.
I had asked for a fight in October knowing this and had some legit people on my side also asking on my behalf, however the matchmaker and whoever else only gave the September at to choose from. So with no other choice and with the internet backing a lying bully (Valentina), I was forced to accept the date or have the threat to get stopped anyway.
This was the only time I signed a contract the statements this egomaniac (Valentina) has said are completely false and nowhere near the truth. Her idea of the reality is so far fetched so the fact that she trained for me 3 times must mean a couple things, she’s obsessed with me and has too much time on her hands. Not only has she been disrespect and jealous of my efforts and accomplishments also blocking me first on Instagram during her first fight at 125, but the fact that she takes pride in kicking a person while their going through surgery and having their kidneys shut down truly demonstrates what a martial artist should not be!
I did everything I could to make weight in the amount of time offered to me, I had no choice but to. Luckily I have a documentary being made following this entire process and it will soon be available for everyone to witness themselves.
When you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place you stick up your dukes and get down to it and that’s precisely what I do and will continue to do.
The plan for now is to be able to live a healthy lifestyle for the longevity of my career and livelihood. Until I can confidently adapt my body and walk around at a lighter weight I will keep doing all that I can when it comes to making indigenous lives matter and will not be hushed in terms of the wrong doing that has been established, not only with my people but also with me.
Never have I experienced working with an opponent who is so heartless and disrespectful, you can absolutely guarantee I’m coming back to make my stamp and take back my belt.
Montano hasn’t been getting a lot of sympathy from mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who now see dangerously botched weight cuts as a sign of poor preparation rather than a badge of courage. All that could change though if she comes back and puts her mark on the division, proving why she was a champion in the first place.
While Shevchenko will face someone else for the now-vacant women’s Flyweight title at an undetermined future date, we have a feeling she’ll still be interested in a fight with Nicco down the line ... if Montano proves she can make it back into the cage.