Former women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano has had a tumultuous UFC career. Now, the first-ever 125-pound female champ is changing weight classes.
Whether the change in weight classes is permanent remains to be seen. According to her manager, Ricky Kottenstette, who confirmed the news with Sherdog.com (h/t Bloody Elbow), Montano will move up to 135pounds for her summer return. However, depending on how the cut goes will play a significant role in whether Montano returns to flyweight in the future.
Montano won the inaugural women’s flyweight title during the finale of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 26. She was supposed to face Sijara Eubanks in the finale, but Eubanks was unable to make weight. In stepped in fellow TUF house guest Roxanne Modafferi.
While Montano defeated Modafferi, that would be the last time she has competed inside the Octagon. A spell of tonsillitis and an on-again, off-again foot injury delayed Montano’s return. Then a failed weight cut against Valentina Shevchenko prior to UFC 228 caused that fight to be canceled. Montano was subsequently stripped of the title.
Last month, Montano was listed as one of four fighters flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation. All four of the fighters received a reduced six-month ban after testing positive for ostarine. They all ingested it via contaminated supplements.
Montano is eligible to return May 15. As of this writing, she has not been booked in a fight.