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Nicco Montano knows she has ‘unfinished business’ in the flyweight division

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  (L-R) Nicco Montano kicks Roxanne Modafferi in their women's flyweight championship bout during the TUF Finale event inside Park Theater on December 01, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01: (L-R) Nicco Montano kicks Roxanne Modafferi in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the TUF Finale event inside Park Theater on December 01, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Zuffa LLC

Former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano will move to bantamweight this weekend for a fight against Julianna Pena at UFC Fight Night from Sacramento.

The shift to 135 pounds came after Montano was the inaugural flyweight champion in the women’s division following a successful run through “The Ultimate Fighter”. Unfortunately in the aftermath of that win, Montano dealt with a lingering foot injury and then when she tried to make her return this past September, her body shut down during the weight cut to get down to 125 pounds.

Montano ended up in the hospital and she was later stripped of her title because she failed to weigh-in for her bout against Valentina Shevchenko last September.

It was a disheartening end to her brief title reign but Montano has made the adjustments necessary to compete at bantamweight, which is where the majority of her career has already taken place.

“I’m comfortable at bantamweight,” Montano said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I’ve taken all my amateur fights at bantamweight, probably half of my pro fights at bantamweight. I feel comfortable there. I don’t feel like I need to be as crazy with my diet and weight cutting as I am at 125 [pounds].

“I did 125 when my body was walking around close to that weight for sure but the closest I ever was during the [The Ultimate Fighter] show was 138 [pounds]. So walking around for a bantamweight fight is more comfortable for me.”

That said, Montano isn’t completely giving up on the possibility of returning to the flyweight division in the future.

Montano never got the opportunity to defend her title and Shevchenko now stands tall as the reigning flyweight champion.

She’s not quite ready to declare an eventual return to the division but Montano would be remiss if she didn’t admit that the desire to go back to 125 pounds is definitely there.

“I’ll do this fight at 135 and then see how comfortable I can get and see how my body reacts. 125 isn’t completely out of the picture but I’m going to take it step by step,” Montano explained.

“125 is something that I’m going to keep in the back of my mind. It’s not something I’m going to get my hopes up about but it’s something I’m going to work towards and be patient about. There is definitely some unfinished business at 125.”