Valentina Shevchenko will be the first challenger to Nicco Montano’s flyweight title in the UFC. And per a new report, the bout will take place at UFC 228.
According to a report from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC women’s flyweight championship is set to be defended at UFC 228. Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, the report states that champion Nicco Montano will face former bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko at the event in Dallas this September. The pairing and date has long been rumored, but it appears the deal is now done.
Montano (4-2) won the title when she defeated Roxanne Modafferi at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale last December. Montano surprised on the show, which introduced the women’s 125lb weight class to the UFC. After running through Lauren Murphey, Montana Stewart (now Montana De La Rosa), and Barb Honchak, Montano was expected to face fellow finalist Sijara Eubanks at the finale. However, Eubanks suffered medical complications due to her weight cut. Modafferi, a longtime veteran and semi-finalist on the show, stepped in.
The pair battled to a five round decision in Montano’s favor in a Fight of the Night showing. The champion has not fought since, however.
Valentina Shevchenko (15-3), also a storied kickboxer, will have a severe edge in experience in the fight. After losing a title challenge at 135lbs to Amanda Nunes last year, Shevchenko dominated in her debut againast Priscila Cachoeira in February. She finished the Brazilian off by submission.
Per Wednesday’s report, the UFC is still looking to finalize a main event for the card. UFC 228 takes place September 8 at the American Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas.