A rematch nearly three years in the making from the regional MMA scene is being targeted for the octagon.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that a women’s bantamweight bout between Nicco Montano and Julia Avila is in the works for the UFC’s event on Aug. 8. The location of the fight card has yet to be revealed but is expected to take place in Las Vegas.
Verbal agreements are in place for the bout with contracts expected to be signed soon.
Montano will return to action after an over one-year layoff due to suffering an MCL injury. It has been a bumpy road for the season 26 winner of The Ultimate Fighter throughout her UFC tenure. After defeating Roxanne Modafferi to capture the inaugural women’s flyweight title, the 31-year-old was stripped of her title ahead of her first title defense against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 when she was hospitalized due to issues with her weight cut.
She would go on to serve a six-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after an out-of-competition test came back positive for ostarine in November 2018. Nearly three years after becoming a UFC champion, Montano made her sophomore promotional appearance this past July, dropping a unanimous decision to Julianna Pena at UFC Sacramento.
Avila improved to 2-0 in the UFC following an impressive 22-second TKO win over Gina Mazany at UFC on ESPN 10 this past weekend. “Raging Panda” made her octagon debut this past July at UFC 239 and earned a unanimous decision win over Pannie Kianzad.
In January 2017, Avila defeated Montano via unanimous decision to become the women’s bantamweight champion of Oklahoma regional promotion HD MMA.