Nicco Montano Hospitalized, Title Defense Against Valentina Shevchenko Off UFC 228

Nicco Montano UFC
Nicco Montaño Credit:

With UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano hospitalized, the planned UFC 228 co-main event is off Saturday’s card.

Those highly anticipating the inaugural title defense of the UFC women’s flyweight championship will be waiting a bit longer. In a scare Friday morning, 125lb champion Nicco Montano was taken to hospital prior to weighing in for the bout. The UFC confirmed the news following an early report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Montano is off the card, and Valentina Shevchenko is as well as a result.

In an official statement, the UFC stated that “as a precautionary measure, UFC flyweight Nicco Montaño was transported to a medical facility Friday morning due to health concerns. The scheduled flyweight championship bout between Montaño and Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 has been cancelled.”

Montano won the title last year at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, which ushered in the women’s 125lb division. Defeating Lauren Murphy, Montana De La Rosa (then Montana Stewart), and Barb Honchak on the show, she captured gold opposite Roxanne Modafferi. Modafferi was actually a short notice replacement, stepping in on virtually no notice to replace finalist Sijara Eubanks, who was hospitalized due to issues stemming from her weight cut.

Nine months later, and it appears weight cutting issues have again impacted the fledgling division. Though no official word has been given, the timing of Montano’s hospital visit makes her weight cut a likely culprit.

UFC 228 will move forward with thirteen bouts, including Tyron Woodley defending his welterweight title against Darren Till in the main event. Both Woodley and Till made weight on  Friday.