Meet the champ

Photo Credit: Courtesy Nicco Montano

Current UFC Women’s Flyweight World Champion, Nicco Montano will be in Ignacio at the SunUte Community Center for Tri-Ute Games, speaking to and motivating the youth, Tuesday, May 29.

Montano was born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Lukachukai, Ariz. by her mother’s side of the family, while her father lived in Farmington, N.M.

When Montano spent time with her father, he would encourage her to go with him to his gym, where he was known as a local legend for his boxing and coaching. He spent most, if not all, of his time at that gym.

“Whenever I remember him, it was just always about his boxing gym, all about his fighting, all about making me a fighter,” Montano said about her late father, Frankie during an interview with Marc Raimondi for the Sep. 2017 online article for MMA Fighting.

Nicco Montano graduated high school in 2006, and went on to attend Arizona State University (ASU), where she then transferred to Dine college in Tsaile, Ariz. and made her way up to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.

It was in Durango, where Montano’s passion for martial arts began. She joined the Durango Martial Arts Academy (DMAA) around 2008 and started kickboxing classes that built her speed and strength, which helped her transition into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Montano currently holds a purple belt in BJJ,

“She was always doing a variety of different physical activities all the time” DMAA coach Matt Young said about Nicco’s time spent in the DMAA’s gym.

Young mention that at the time Montano was training, not many women were in the gym. “She was a great role model for other women,” Young said. Once Montano started moving up in the BJJ ranks it motivated other women to start training at the DMAA.

“Nicco has always been a really disciplined athlete, she understands nutrition and exercise science really well,” Young said, while talking about Montano’s training days in Durango.

According to her official website, Montano’s mission is to empower — to be able to use her story to uplift and inspire people from around world.


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