Things are going to finally start moving along in the UFC’s newest women’s division. According to ESPN, inaugural women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano’s first defense is scheduled for UFC 228 on Sept. 8 in Dallas. The contest will serve as the co-main event.
The proud Native American descendant, who fights out of New Mexico, was introduced to the MMA world on the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter following a 5-0 amateur career. The 29-year-old scored unanimous decision wins against Lauren Murphy, Montana De La Rosa and former Invicta FC champion Barb Honchak on the show.
One standout in the division is Montano’s UFC 228 opponent, former women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko. However, there has been little activity in the division since Montano claimed the title over Roxanne Modafferi on the show’s live finale in December of 2017.
The champion provided an update through Instagram on May 1.
“…I’m five days post-tonsillectomy and adenoid removal surgery due to a bacterial infection that’s been inhibiting my practice all year. Soonest I can get back on the mats is 16 more days. The UFC not only knows about this but flew me out to Vegas themselves to get this surgery done ASAP so I can jump on getting a fight with Shevchenko lined up…”
Shevchenko scored her first victory at 125 pounds over Priscila Cachoeira back in February, earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus as a result. Shevchenko went 3-2 at bantamweight.
Eight other bouts have also been announced for the card thus far:
Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Aljamain Sterling vs. Cody Stamann
Carla Esparza vs. Tatiana Suarez
Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson
Ryan Benoit vs. Roberto Sanchez
Charles Byrd vs. Darren Stewart
Geoff Neal vs. Frank Camacho
UFC 228 takes place at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas. The main event has yet to be revealed at this time.