During her appearance on the MMA Hour, UFC Flyweight champion Nicco Montano (4-2) has addressed her feelings on who should be her next opponent.
Montano has held a target on her back ever since winning the title during the finale of TUF 26 as former Bantamweight title challenger Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko has stated she is coming for her title. Strawweight fighter Paige Van Zant had also campaigned for a title shot. Although Montano understands the demand to defend her title against an opponent with greater credentials, she also laughs off the idea of being scared of her competition, as well as addressing the fact that both Shevchenko and Van Zant should at least compete in the weight class before earning a shot.
“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.
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”
She also point believes that her original opponent for the inauguration of the belt, Sijara Eubanks (2-2), who was forced to pull out due to medical reasons after suffering a bad weight cut, had done enough to get another chance by repeatedly making weight during the show.
‘Sarge’, even though she didn’t make weight, we can’t forget she made the weight three times in a six-week period (during the Ultimate Fighter 26 tournament). 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 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.”