Montano hasn’t defended the gold since winning it this past December and Shevchenko would like to see the champion either defend the title or vacate it.
“Not yet, we are not at that point [Montano vacating the title],” Shevchenko said on The MMA Hour. “But I think it would be very right to do things like this because if you are not ready to fight, if you don’t want to fight, you have to leave the belt — you cannot hold it. If you are feeling that you have health issues and you cannot fight for a long time you just have to leave it. When you come back you have a right to fight for this belt again. It’s not the right thing to just hold [the belt] and say it’s mine forever. Either you are fighting and defending or you should step out.”
There are a total of four female title holders in the UFC and Montano is the only one of those champions to not defend the title since winning it.
Shevchenko is expecting the women’s flyweight champion to be back in action this summer, but nothing is set in stone.
“First Nicco said she was ready for July 7th and the they came back to her with July 28th, but she said no. I don’t know what she’s thinking. Maybe she thinks she has done everything she wanted to in her life and she’s ready to go and retire — I don’t know. I understand that she will be ready some time at the end of the summer. I will be here waiting to fight for the title. She just can’t run all the time, you have to stop sometimes. I just do my job. I never stop training so I’m always in good shape. I just have to wait my time and see how it turns out,” she said.
The top contender has previously challenged for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title, so the potential future championship bout is going to be her first chance to win the flyweight gold.