Nicco Montano misses weight by 7 pounds, UFC Vegas 33 bout with Wu Yanan cancelled

Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

Inaugural UFC flyweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter 26 tournament victor, Nicco Montano has tipped the bantamweight scales for her UFC Vegas 33 clash against Wu Yanan by a sizable seven pounds, resulting in the official cancellation of her slated Octagon return.

Team Oyama leader, Colin Oyama took to his personal Facebook page to confirm that his trainee, Wanan would be hoping to secure a bout on an upcoming card, following the cancellation of tomorrow’s preliminary bout clash with Montano.

@yanan.1103 makes weight 135.5lbs but apparently our opponent (Nicco Montano) came in at 143 (lbs) which makes you wonder what exactly were (sic) you doing these past 8 weeks? So (the) fight is off. Hopefully the @ufc will rebook her on an upcoming card soon. Big thanks to our coaches @alexperezmma @scaryk3rry for going out there, @eng_bull for setting up the fight and @kesslerfamilywellness for keeping her in one piece. Crappy situation but sh*t happens I guess.

Arizona native, Montano was expected to return for the first time since July of 2019 where she dropped a unanimous decision loss to the returning incoming bantamweight title challenger, Julianna Pena. This evening’s weight cutting mishap comes as the second high-profile botch of Montano’s brief Octagon run, following the cancellation of a slated UFC 228 flyweight title defence against current champion, Valentina Shevchenko back in September of 2018.

The 29-year-old required hospitalization prior to the weigh-in attempt due to the effects of weight cutting, resulting in the shelving of her bout with Kyrgyzstan native, Shevchenko. Montano would later be officially stripped of the undisputed UFC flyweight championship.

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The following April, Montano was slapped with a six-month retroactive suspension by anti-doping agency, USADA after she had returned a test sample positive for the banned substance, ostarine. The result came from an out of competition test sample, which was administered in November of 2018, resulting in the completion of Montano’s suspension in May of 2019. 

This latest bout cancellation marks a torrid run of luck for Montano who has seen slated bouts against the aforenoted, Shevchenko, Sara McMann, Macy Chiasson, Julia Avila, and Karol Rosa all hit the rocks due to weight cutting issues, injuries, and travel restrictions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This evening’s developments come off the back of the release of a documentary released recently which details Montano’s weight cutting struggles prior to her scheduled bout with current flyweight champion, Shevchenko. In a statement provided to MMA Fighting, the documentary’s director, Landon Dyksterhouse detailed how the feature, titled, Warrior Spirit “sheds some light on the dangerous weight-cutting practices implemented by the UFC Performance Institute“.

Warrior Spirit is a feature-length documentary about the first Native American UFC champion Nicco Montano, and the dangers of extreme weight-cutting in the UFC,” Dyksterhouse’s statement read. “Montano’s story is an important one to share because it sheds some light on the dangerous weight-cutting practices implemented by the UFC Performance Institute and how the UFC makes millions of dollars exploiting their fighters. The film also addressed many other important issues like fighter pay, insurance and unionzation efforts.

UFC Vegas 33 takes place tomorrow night from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada — with a middleweight headlining tilt between the #7 ranked contender, Uriah Hall and the #11 rated contender, Sean Strickland slated to take main event honours. 


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