Nicco Montano to Make First Flyweight Title Defense at UFC 228

Ken Pishna
MMA Weekly
Nicco Montano TUF 26 Finale v1
Nicco Montano TUF 26 Finale v1

Nicco Montano will make the first defense of her UFC flyweight title since winning the belt late last year, when she steps into the Octagon at UFC 228 on Sept.8 in Dallas, Texas.

Montano will put her belt on the line against Valentina Shevchenko in a bout that has building for several months, while Montano sat on the sidelines recuperating from injury. The bout was announced by UFC officials on Wednesday.

Montano (4-2) won the belt at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Dec. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. She navigated a minefield of top contenders that included Lauren Murphy, Montana Stewart, and Barb Honchak, before ultimately defeating late-replacement Roxanne Modafferi for the belt. She was initially supposed to have fought Sijara Eubanks, who had to pull out of the fight with kidney failure while attempting to make weight.

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A strong contender at bantamweight, Shevchenko (15-3) was unsuccessful in wresting the belt from current champion Amanda Nunes, whom she has lost to twice. After failing in her second bout with Nunes, Shevchenko made the drop to 125 pounds, where she found immediate success by taking out Priscila Cachoeira on the Brazilian's home turf.

Having waited for the past five months for her title shot to arrive, Shevchenko will now step into the cage opposite Montano at UFC 228.

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