From the moment Valentina Shevchenko (15-3-0) announced her intention to drop from 135lbs to compete at flyweight, there has been talk of a showdown with reigning champion Nicco Montaño (4-2-0).
Shevchenko’s one sided demolition of the game but over matched Priscila Cachoeira at UFC Fight Night 125 in her flyweight debut only added fuel to the fire. Regardless of rankings, everyone seemed in agreement that Shevchenko vs Montaño was the match to make.
The bout was discussed earlier in the year but talks were put on ice due to Montaño recovering from a number of surgeries. While initially expected to return in July, this was pushed back as the champion dealt with a tonsillectomy which resulted in a blast of strongly worded social media posts between the two fighters.
On Friday, Montaño confirmed she is now completely healthy and ready to face “The Bullet” with her belt on the line, suggesting UFC 228 this September as a date the two could meet.
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Alright, let’s get this show on the road! What you got on your girl, Sept 8th in Vegas, Valentina! Now that I’m finally back to a healthy body I’m ready to go, it was only a matter of time. 👊🏽 ……share it, write it down, take a picture… #UFC #mma #champishere #125champ #wmma #fight
As expected, it didn’t take long for Shevchenko to issue a game but somewhat skeptical response.
While there has been no paperwork signed and no official confirmation from the UFC, it is looking increasingly likely that Montaño will finally get the opportunity to defend her title, against the woman unanimously considered to be the biggest threat to her reign as champion.