Nicco Montano’s withdrawal from UFC 228 has resulted in a shuffling of the deck, with Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson moving to the main card.
The hospitalization of UFC women’s flyweight champ Nicco Montano has resulted in a game of musical chairs on the UFC 228 card. Montano, who was taken to hospital Friday morning before hitting the scales at the UFC 228 early weigh-in, is off the card, along with opponent Valentina Shevchenko. That left the show without a co-main event, and down a fight on the main card. To combat this, the UFC has promoted Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson to the main card, and bumped a key strawweight battle into the co-main event slot.
That strawweight affair would be Jessiva Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Already part of UFC 228’s main card, it now serves as the co-main event. With title implications (the winner of the bout could easily be tapped as the next challenger to Rose Namajunas), Andrade vs. Kowalkiewicz is probably the biggest fight remaining on the UFC 228 card outside Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till. Andrade (18–6) has won two straight against Claudia Gadelha and Teccia Torres, two of the other top 115lb fighters in the UFC at the moment.
Kowalkiewicz (12–2), meanwhile, has also won two straight, over Jodie Esquibel and Felice Herrig. Both Andrade and Kowalkiewicz are former title challengers at 115lbs.
Jimmie Rivera (21–2), now part of the main card as well, looks to bounce back from his first loss in years when he faces former two-time flyweight title challenger John Dodson in a bantamweight bout. Dodson (20–9) captured a win over Pedro Munhoz last time out at UFC 222.