Montano wants to defend vs. Sarge, Shevchenko to fight Cachoeira
When Nicco Montano won the inaugural women’s flyweight championship, established fighters in other divisions, perhaps most notably Valentina Shevchenko and Paige VanZant, angled for a title shot. However, during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour the champ said the first title shot should rightly go to #1 contender Sijara Eubanks.
‘Sarge’ was supposed to fight Montano for the belt in the TUF Finale, but her kidneys shut down during the weight cut, and Roxanne Modafferi stepped up, but lost the decision. Now some fans are whining that Montano is scared of fighting established contenders.
“I laugh it off,” said Montan, as transcribed by Alexander K. Lee for MMA Fighting. “Some people don’t have the best attitude or sportsmanship, especially when it comes to fighting. But I feel like – like I’m not scared, I’m absolutely not scared, but I definitely think that they should be able to show what they can do at ‘25 before getting a chance to fight for a title. ‘Sarge’, even though she didn’t make weight, we can’t forget she made the weight three times in a six-week period. So she can make the weight. It was just a hard process right after the show, everyone went home, went back to their regular diet so their body wasn’t used to it after that six-week period and then it was kind of hard to bounce back given the amount of time that we had.
“I’m definitely not scared because it’s the name of the game. You want to fight the best so that you can prove to everybody else that you are the best, but right now the best is not Shevchenko at ‘25. She hasn’t fought at that weight. It’s not Paige VanZant, she hasn’t fought at that weight either. So I think it’s pretty silly and I’m a person who wants fair fights and so I just don’t think they are deserving of it right now.”
“I’m a pretty fair fighter and I do think that Sarge can make it. I would like it to be Sarge, I think she deserves another chance. She made it through six weeks of hell doing that. I was there watching, I was there partaking in that six-week period, so I know how much heart she has and how much she’s wanting this.
“I unfortunately can’t see Shevchenko or Paige VanZant through the process of making ‘25 or wanting this belt, but I just feel like Sarge is a little more deserving for sure.”
Shevchenko said she hoped for a title shot, but understood she might need to fight at 125 first. And that is what came to pass.Shevchenko will UFC-debuting Priscila Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125 on February 3 at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in Belem, Para, Brazil.