Nicco Montano may be a heavy betting underdog for her upcoming title defense against Valentina Shevchenko, but the champion has taken inspiration from Henry Cejudo’s upset win over Demitrious Johnson at UFC 227.
Despite Shevchenko’s multiple accolades across various disciplines of martial arts, Montano feels as though “heart and will and sacrifices” are what will ultimately decide the UFC 228 co-main event.
“Absolutely, as I said, it’s not about labels; it’s about heart and will and sacrifices and I’ve made them all,” Montano replied when asked if she took any inspiration from Henry Cejudo upset win over Demetrious Johnson on Wednesday’s conference call.
“It’s not going to me at the end of the fight to see that we’ve been through a battle and then see what the outcome is.”
Montano went on to describe how seeing Cejudo dethrone Johnson after five rounds in Los Angeles had a profound effect on her.
“Definitely seeing Cejudo, I was there for that fight up close and personal, and you could just see the pace and you could see how much both of those fighters were willing to put in that cage,” she said. “That was a spectacular fight and Cejudo came out victorious. And he was the underdog, so that’s definitely something that’s in my head now.”
In a prediction that Shevchenko labelled “cute,” Montano predicted that she would win via simultaneous knockout and submission on Sept. 8
“I’m going to win,” Montano said.
“Probably both,” she replied when asked if she would win by knockout or submission. “I’ll probably get a submission and get a knockout at the same time.”