Nicco Montano not ruling out UFC return, targets four-fight contract at 145-pounds in 2022

Nicco-Montano
PhotoCred: theScore

Nicco Montano had a less than ideal run with the UFC after becoming the inaugural 125-pound flyweight champion.

The 32-year old Montano received her walking papers in August after one of several fight cancelations she was faced with during her run. Failing to make weight for a contest against Wu Yanan, Montano had accumulated nine total fight cancelations in her three and a half year run – six of which came on her end and were ultimately too much for the promotion to keep her around.

“I totally would [fight for the UFC again],” Nicco Montano said on MMA Fighting’s Fighter vs. Writer. “They said, they’re shutting down the 145 division but I see a bunch of 145 fights coming left and right these days.

“I think for now, at 145 I can throw out four fights a year and eventually come back down to 135. But healthily, right? I was talking to Miesha Tate, she said she’s walking around at 142 right now, she hasn’t been healthier in her life. There’s just little tricks and stuff that you’re able to do with your body but you have to be able to cross everything out so that there’s no other noise and you can focus on your priorities and that’s kind of where I’m at right now.

“So for now, 145, maybe this next year sign a four-fight contract somewhere,” Montano added. “I think 135, my body is going to eventually get back down there.”

Before arriving in the UFC Nicco Montano fought as a 135-pound bantamweight. When the opportunity to be on season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter presented itself, it was too good for the Lukachukai, Arizona native to pass up.

As one of the lowest-ranked seeds in the tournament, Montano went on to win it all and be rewarded with the title for her efforts. Her first title defense was scheduled to take place against future champion Valentina Shevchenko, however, Montano was hospitalized when weight cutting thus leading to her being stripped of the title.

“I was asking if I could do a 145 fight – kind of like what Aspen [Ladd] did,” Montano said of her last weight miss for the Wu fight. “Just two weeks, if someone needs a 145er, I’m down to do that. I was getting told they were going to shut down the division so they’re like ‘No, that’s not gonna be able to happen.’ Then I got let go from the UFC right there.

“It’s not over yet and I definitely don’t see it as being over. Whatever lessons I’m learning now, I’m gonna know exactly how to avoid them or to make things better for myself in the future.”

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