As expected, Nicco Montano will make her first flyweight title defense against Valentina Shevchenko.
Montano and Shevchenko will lock horns at UFC 228, which takes place at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas on Sept. 8, the promotion announced Wednesday. Montano vs. Shevchenko is not expected to headline the card.
Eight other contests — some previously reported — were also confirmed for UFC 228: Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez; Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz; Carla Esparza vs. Tatiana Suarez; Aljamain Sterling vs. Cody Stamann; Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson; Ryan Benoit vs. Roberto Sanchez; Charles Byrd vs. Darren Stewart and Geoff Neal vs. Frank Camacho.
Montano bested Lauren Murphy, Montana De La Rosa and Barb Honchak to reach the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter 26.” The FIT-NHB product then took a five-round verdict over Roxanne Modafferi at the “TUF 26” finale on Dec. 1 to become the UFC’s inaugural flyweight queen.
Formerly one of the top contenders at 135 pounds, Shevchenko dropped to flyweight following a split-decision loss against Amanda Nunes in a title bout at UFC 215. In her first 125-pound appearance, “Bullet” delivered a brutal beatdown to Priscila Cachoeira before winning via submission 4:25 into round two.