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‘Down but never out’ - Nicco Montaño releases statement after UFC release

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Former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montaño was recently cut from the promotion.

UFC 228 Ultimate Media Day
Nicco Montano with the UFC flyweight title back in 2018.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

After badly missing weight for UFC Vegas 33 Nicco Montaño saw her fight with Wu Yanan called off. It was the latest in a long string of cancelled fights for the UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion.

Following that incident, UFC President Dana White publicly questioned whether Montaño was cut out for MMA. Soon after that Montaño was released from the UFC.

Montaño released a statement on her Instagram about her departure from the company.

Down but never out… Seems to be the story of my career but for better or for worse I’m in the thicc of it and MMA is how I started my personal growth and I will never give up on me ❤️ It has brought me the highest of highs and lowest of lows and if it ain’t that, am I really living..?

The last time Montaño competed in the cage was at UFC on ESPN+ 13 in 2019. There she lost a unanimous decision to Julianna Peña in a bantamweight contest. Prior to that bout, her only UFC action came in 2017 where she won The Ultimate Fighter Season 28 with wins over current title challenger Lauren Murphy, Montana De La Rosa, Barb Honchak and Roxanne Modafferi. This run resulted in her being crowned the flyweight champion.

Since then Montaño has suffered a number of high profile weigh-in mishaps and injuries. The first of those occurred in 2018 when she was scheduled to defend her title versus Valentina Shevchenko.

On the eve of the Shevchenko fight, Montaño needed to be hospitalized due to a bad weight cut. In an unusual move, the UFC then stripped Montaño of the belt and put it up for grabs in a fight between Shevchenko and Joanna Jędrzejczyk, which Shevchenko won.

Since then Montaño has seen fights seven fights get cancelled, including bouts with Sara McMann, Macy Chiasson, Julia Avila (three times) and Karol Rosa.