Seventeen months after being crowned the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, Nicco Montano is headed up in weight.
Sherdog.com confirmed with Montano’s manager, Ricky Kottenstette, that Nicco will compete at 135 lbs for her planned summer return. However, he did not rule out a return to 125 lbs, citing that they’ll see how Montano’s cut to 135 lbs plays out before making a decision on a potential drop back to flyweight.
Montano (4-2) won season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter, which doubled as a women’s flyweight tournament to determine the division’s first champ. She won a unanimous decision over late replacement Roxanne Modafferi, who filled in for Sijara Eubanks when her weight cut sent her to the hospital. After tonsilitis and a foot injury delayed her return, Montano was scheduled to defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228, then her own bad weight cut caused the fight to be cancelled, and her title was subsequently stripped.
Last month, it was revealed that Montano was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation. She was one of four fighters who received a reduced six-month ban after testing positive for ostarine, but they all ingested it via contaminated supplements.
Montano is eligible to return to competition on May 15th. She does not have a fight booked as of yet, but you might as well start scanning the women’s bantamweight roster to see who’s available.