Former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Nicco Montano was supposed to defend the gold against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228, but would withdraw from the fight due to the effects of the weight cut.
Montano is now a firm believer that Shevchenko never actually wanted to fight her in the first place.
“I think she lives in la-la land for a reason,” Montaño said on The MMA Hour. “I think she really wanted that to happen. Unless she’s another Miss Cleo and she could have another side job and she’s good at that. But I think she was hoping for it, I think she’s a little scared to fight somebody like me. I think deep down she was really hoping for it, hoping this fight wouldn’t happen, so she could have more ammo to be a cyber bully and she wouldn’t have to face me in the Octagon.”
The UFC would strip Montano of her title for missing the bout, a belt that Shevchenko is going to fight for later this year.
While some in Montano’s position may want to leave the promotion that took the title away from her, a motivated Montano looks at things differently.
“Am I gonna want to stay in the UFC?” Montaño said. “I kind of want to stay in the UFC just to fight Valentina eventually. But just like with anything else, what else is the motivation? What else is the motivator?”
There has been no opponent announced yet for Shevchenko to fight yet for the vacant title, while Montano sits at #2 in the UFC Women’s Flyweight Division rankings.