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08th Sep 2018

Flyweight champion stripped of her title on the eve of UFC 228

One of the most unremarkable title reigns is now over

Darragh Murphy

Valentina Shevchenko will get her shot at the UFC flyweight title but it won’t come against Nicco Montano.

Montano has been stripped of her 125lbs title after failing to make it to her first defence.

The first-ever female flyweight champion in the UFC was scheduled to meet Shevchenko in the co-main event of UFC 228 on Saturday night but Montano was transported to hospital ahead of Friday’s weigh-ins.

The bout was cancelled and hours later, a decision was made to strip Montano of her belt.

“The belt becomes vacated, so the title is vacated,” UFC President Dana White said on FS1. “Obviously, Shevchenko is dying to fight for this title. So we’re in the process right now of trying to make another fight before the end of the year.”

Shevchenko was heavily favoured to come out on top against Montano and the former bantamweight challenger has questioned the legitimacy of Montano’s medical issues.

‘Bullet’ has suggested that Montano never intended to set foot in the Octagon this weekend in a statement on Instagram.

“I told it before, she can pull out from the fight at anytime,” Shevchenko wrote. “She was trying to avoid this fight several times already. It is my (third) preparation for this fight.

“Looks like it was her plan from the beginning, to show up for the fight week, to build up her name, speak confident and secure, and then escape from the fight in the last minutes.”

Shevchenko has been compensated for her training expenses.