Following Car Accident, Nicco Montano Pulled from UFC Vegas 18, Replaced by Joselyne Edwards

Nicco Montano UFC
Nicco Montaño Credit:

Is there a UFC fighter with worse luck (outside perhaps “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall) than Nicco Montano?

Montano (4-3), the former and inaugural UFC flyweight champion who was stripped of her title after struggling to make the 125lb limit, is once again out of a fight. The latest setback comes after Montano was involved in a car accident which in turn saw a neurologist pull her from her bout with Karol Rosa at UFC Vegas 18. Per a report by MMA Fighting, Montano was unable to successfully complete the necessary tests to be cleared to fight — primarily having eye-tracking issues as the result of a concussion.

Milenio, meanwhile, was first to report that Montano has been replaced in the fight by Joselyne Edwards (10-2).

For Montano, who has not fought in well over a year, it’s the most recent in a string of mishaps. After defeating Roxanne Modafferi to claim the flyweight title in December 2017 at The Ultimate Fighter 26 finale, Montano was scheduled to face Valentina Shevchenko later that year. However, after a long wait, the fight fell through at the 11th hour that September, with Montano transported to hospital due to complications from her weight cut.

She has fought just once since. Stripped of her title following the Shevchenko incident, Montano wound up one of four fighters to settle with USADA over low-levels of ostarine found in her system — a common contaminant in athletic supplements. That cost her six months.

The Arizona native returned to action, and to the bantamweight division, in July of 2019, only to lose a unanimous decision against Julianna Pena. More setbacks outside of the cage would follow. Montano was expected to return to action last February, but was forced out of the fight due to injury. An MCL sprain was reportedly the culprit. She was then paired up with Julia Avila in August — but her coach, Syndicate MMA’s John Wood, tested positive for COVID-19. Although the fight was pushed back several weeks, it was cancelled again. This time, Nicco Montano herself had tested positive. While the UFC attempted to book the fight a third time, on October 3, travel restrictions forced Montano out.

Flash forward to 2021. Montano, arguably the UFC’s most unlucky active fighter, is again out of a fight as the result of a car crash. At this point, she has fought just once since winning the UFC flyweight championship in December 2017, and has not entered the octagon in over 18 months.

Rosa vs. Edwards, meanwhile, now goes forward at UFC Vegas 18 (UFC Fight Night 184) on February 6. The card, set to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, is headlined by heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov.