Following Positive COVID-19 Test by Coach, Nicco Montano vs. Julia Avila Moved to September 5

Julia Avila, UFC
Julia Avila, UFC on ESPN 10 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The women’s bantamweight bout between ex-flyweight champ Nicco Montano and “The Raging Panda” Julia Avila is on the move.

MyMMANews was first to report that noted MMA coach John Wood, of Syndicate MMA, had tested positive for COVID-19. Wood happens to coach Montano, and out of an abundance of caution, the bout has been moved to September 5.

Montano and Avila were originally scheduled to fight on August 8.

Avila (8-1) in particular has been cursed with fight cancellations. In the past 12 months alone, she saw a pairing with Karol Rosa fall through no fewer than four times. The 32-year old finally got back in the cage last month against Gina Mazany, earning the TKO win in just 22 seconds.

A former Invicta FC standout, Avila has won both her UFC bouts to date. The other win came over former Cage Warriors champ Pannie Kianzad.

Montano (4-3) has the dubious distinction of being one of just two female fighters in UFC history to be stripped of their title. The Arizona native of Navajo descent won the promotion’s flyweight title in December 2017, winning The Ultimate Fighter 26 in the process. That victory came against longtime veteran Roxanne Modafferi.

However, Montano would never defend her belt. After an extended hiatus due to injury she attempted to return at UFC 228 in September 2018. However, Montano was hospitalized due to her weight cut, and unable to face then-challenger Valentina Shevchenko. The result was being stripped of her title and forced up to bantamweight.

Montano debuted there in July 2019, losing a unanimous decision to Julianna Pena.

No main event or official announcement has been made for the UFC’s September 5 date.