Nicco Montaño was taken to the hospital Friday morning due to kidney issues, per her team.
The UFC women’s flyweight champion will not compete Saturday at UFC 228 in a scheduled title fight with Valentina Shevchenko, the UFC officially announced Friday morning. Montaño was taken to a Dallas hospital prior to the official weigh-ins on the advice of the UFC’s medical team, Montaño’s training partner Steve Hanna told MMA Fighting in a statement.
“She will be fine in a few days,” Hanna’s statement read. “The UFC medical team was called in to evaluate her this morning during the process of her weight cut. They determined that she had to cease cutting weight and be transported to and treated at the local hospital for issues regarding her kidney function.”
Before the end of the official weigh-ins, the UFC announced that Montaño was out of UFC 228 and Shevchenko would not fight a replacement opponent. The card will move on with 13 fights, and Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz will take Montaño vs. Shevchenko’s place as the co-main event.
“As a precautionary measure, UFC flyweight Nicco Montaño was transported to a medical facility Friday morning due to health concerns,” the UFC statement read. “The scheduled championship bout between Montaño & Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 has been cancelled.”
Montaño, 29, has been UFC women’s flyweight champion since beating Roxanne Modafferi at the TUF 26 Finale last December. Montaño earned a spot in the inaugural UFC women’s 125-pound title bout after advancing through the Ultimate Fighter tournament. Ironically, she was supposed to fight Sijara Eubanks at the TUF 26 Finale, but Eubanks was hospitalized due to a bad weight cut and Modafferi stepped in.
Montaño (4-2) fought multiple times at 135 pounds before TUF, but she made the weight in the house three times over a six-week period and then again for the TUF 26 Finale.
This would have been Montaño’s first title defense. Shevchenko, a 30-year-old former bantamweight title challenger, dropped down to flyweight in February and beat Priscila Cachoeira by second-round submission to earn the shot.