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Nicco Montano releases statement on USADA suspension, hopes for summer return

Nicco Montano
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After it was revealed Tuesday that Nicco Montano has been on the shelf due to a suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the former UFC flyweight champion provided her own update on the situation.

It was announced by the USADA that Montano (4-2) is currently serving a six-month suspension dating back to Nov. 15, 2018, as a result of the 30-year-old testing positive for ostarine in an out-of-competition sample last October. She will be eligible to compete again on May 15 and she took to Instagram to let fans know when she expects to return to action.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank my friends, family, and all of my fans for their continued support during this difficult period in my life,” Montano wrote. “As you all know, USADA was unable to locate the source of my contamination. I will continue to remain diligent in my responsibilities to USADA and the UFC. I would like to acknowledge Donna Marcolini and Jeff Novitzky with the UFC for their assistance in this process.

“This suspension has further inspired me to work even harder of achieving my goals in the UFC. I hope to make my return this summer.”

Montano burst onto the scene as a relative unknown on the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where she defeated Lauren Murphy, Montana De La Rosa (nee Stewart), and Barb Honchak to book her spot in the tournament final. She defeated short-notice replacement Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Dec. 1, 2017 to become the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, but has not competed since and was later stripped of that title due to inactivity.

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