After Nicco Montano was pulled from the UFC 228 co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko was quick to offer her thoughts on the matter and she did not pull any punches as the then-flyweight champion:

“I am not surprised about this situation with Nicco,” Shevchenko said on an Instagram post last Friday. “And I told it before, she can pull out from the fight at anytime. She was trying to avoid this fight several times already. It is my 3rd preparation for this fight. Looks like it was her plan from the beginning, to show up for the fight week, to build up her name, speak confident and secure, and then escape from the fight in the last minutes. She was speaking about fighting spirit and character…. What kind of fighting spirit she is talking about? I don’t believe in a version about health issues. She was looking totally fine in open workout and media day. Her actions are totally unprofessional!”

Appearing on The MMA Hour on Monday, Nicco Montano concluded that the reason Valentina Shevchenko continues to make these statements and why she made the initial prediction that the fight would not happen is for one reason: fear.

“I think she lives in la-la land for a reason,” Montano said. “I think she really wanted that to happen, unless she’s another Miss Cleo and she can have a side job if she’s good at that,” Montano said with a chuckle. “But I think she was hoping for it. I think she’s a little scared to fight somebody like me.

“I think deep down, she was really hoping for it…hoping this fight wasn’t gonna happen so she could have more ammo to be a cyberbully, and she wouldn’t have to face me in the Octagon.”

Nicco Montano also believes that she should still be the flyweight champion of the world and that the decision to strip her and the way she learned about it were both uncalled for:

“I do believe it’s unfair,” Montano said of the stripping. “I believe it’s unfair the way that it was done, with me finding out on Instagram, and also the way their inconsistencies are.

“There were interim belts made due to health precautions, due to injuries, and there’s just no (consistency). So what’s there to rely on?”