The UFC wanted to flesh out a 125-pound division for the ladies, so they put together a season of TUF that would crown a champ, and Nicco Montano ended up winning it. But that was ten months ago, and when it came time for her to defend her belt for the first time – at UFC 228 this past weekend – her weight cut put her in the hospital.
So the UFC stripped her of her title.
The reasons why are obvious. For a litany of health reasons, Montano has been stuck on the sidelines, resulting in a division that has been frozen in suspended animation. Sure, flyweights have fought. But for what? Fighters battling for top contender status are fighting for nothing when the champ is completely out of reach.
The other obvious reason for stripping Montano is the fact that her latest health woe resulted from a failed weight cut. At the end of the day, a champ of a particular division has to be able to make weight in that division. Otherwise, it’s all a charade.
Was the UFC right to take away her belt?
Montano doesn’t think so.
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Of course, the argument can be made that the UFC did her a favor. Because if trying to make 125 pounds puts her in the hospital, then Montano shouldn’t be obligated to make that weight anymore. Let her seek her fortunes at bantamweight.
Valentina Shevchenko got screwed out of fighting for, and likely winning, a championship belt on Saturday night. But according to Dana White, Shevchenko is still at the front of the line when a bout to determine the new champion is made. It sucks that Shevchenko, and the entire division, had to weight nearly a year for the logjam to be cleared, but whatevs.
As for Montano… now she has all the time in the world to get better. There’s no pressure, and she doesn’t have to deal with would-be challengers spitting venom at her. I think that’s a definite upside to this whole debacle.
What do you think?