Nicco Montano tests positive for COVID-19, rematch with Julia Avila moved to Oct. 3 UFC event

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The rematch between Julia Avila and inaugural UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano has been delayed once again.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that the women’s bantamweight bout has been pushed to the UFC’s Oct. 3 event after Montano tested positive for COVID-19. The bout was originally slated to take place Aug. 18, but was moved to Sept. 5 after Montano’s coach tested positive for the virus in July.

Montano’s return to the octagon following an MCL injury is now put on hold once again. The Ultimate Fighter 26 winner and inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion hasn’t competed since July 2019, when she dropped 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 in May at UFC on ESPN 10. “Raging Panda,” who’s won her last four fights, 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.

Headlining the Oct. 3 event is a matchup between former 135-pound champion Holly Holm taking on Irene Aldana. As of now, the card’s location hasn’t been made official, but Abu Dhabi is a likely host, per sources.

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