Last week, Wednesday, August 30th, the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter premiered on Fox Sports 1. The season features a new weight class to the UFC, the women’s 125-pound Flyweight division and will crown the winner of the show the Inaugural UFC Champion. Sixteen women were brought in to live in Las Vegas, Nevada for the chance to compete for UFC gold and glory. Coaches Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez are the feature of the show as they will coach the two teams of athletes in hopes that one of the women from their team has what it takes to win the show.
When the show’s roster was announced, New Mexico fight fans may have seen a familiar name pop-up. FIT NHB’s Nicco Montano (3-2), as one of the sixteen competitor chosen for the show.
Montano brought her talents to Albuquerque from Durango, Colorado and has emerged as one of the most promising athletes on the rise from this area. SWFight has been a supporter of Montano since very early in her amateur days and then continued throughout her career to this point. The Durango Martial Arts product became a welcome addition to the ranks of FIT NHB joining standout WMMA talents Brenda Gonzales and Amber Brown, all of whom are coached by renowned striking savant, Coach Arlene Sanchez-Vaughn.
Montano didn’t receive much camera time in episode one but local fight fans were gifted with a peek into the bracket for the season. Check that out below:
Montano was assigned the #14 seed of the tournament making her an underdog and perennial dark horse to run the table to win the championship. We aren’t sure when Montano’s first fight will air but tonight’s show may offer more air time and potentially a better idea of when to expect Montano’s preliminary match-up.
When the time comes, Montano will have no easy task in front of her as she drew #3 Lauren Murphy (9-3). Murphy ruled the women’s 135-pound Bantamweight division at one time as she was an undefeated fighter who once carried the Invicta FC Title.
Murphy has lost 3 of her last 4, all of which came in the UFC’s Octagon. Montano is looking to right the ship after a decision loss back in January. Prior to that, Montano was on a two-fight win streak including a win over fellow contestant Shana Dobson. Montano is also the King of the Cage Champion at 125-pounds which gives her championship experience, an experience that most of the competitors on the show don’t have on their resume. Montano bested Jamie Milanowski in the 4th round of the KOTC title fight in 2016.
We may carry some bias towards our local athlete, but with championship experience adding to the experience Montano carries by training with accomplished fighters like Gonzales and Brown, and being coached by such a notable WMMA aficionado, Montano could be this season’s dark horse to make waves this season.
Stay tuned to SWFight for more information including when we might expect Montano to get her first fight on the show and we will continue to track her progress throughout The Ultimate Fighter 26 season. Catch the show every Wednesday night on Fox Sports 1.