Former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano has issued her first statement after receiving a six-month suspension from USADA this week.
The sanction came down after Montano tested positive for trace amounts of the banned substance ostarine that USADA determined likely came from a contaminated supplement, which was consiste2nt with past cases with the same substance.
Ultimately, Montano was suspended six months and she will be eligible to return after May 15.
On Wednesday, Montano addressed the suspension and her hopes to return to action this summer after last fighting in Dec. 2017.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank my friends, family, and all of my fans for their continued support during this difficult period in my life,” Montano wrote on Instagram. “As you all know, USADA was unable to locate the source of my contamination. I will continue to remain diligent in my responsibilities to USADA and the UFC.
“I would like to acknowledge Donna Marcolini and Jeff Novitzky with the UFC for their assistance in this process. This suspension has further inspired me to work even harder of achieving my goals in the UFC. I hope to make my return this summer.”
It’s been a rough time for Montano since she was crowned the first ever UFC women’s flyweight champion following ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 26 finale.
Montano was out of action for most of 2018 due to a foot injury that she suffered while filming the reality show. She was then matched up with Valentina Shevchenko in her first title defense this past September but a brutal weight cut landed her in the hospital rather than the Octagon.
Her fight was cancelled and she was subsequently stripped of the UFC flyweight title.
Montano has been relatively quiet since that time, obviously dealing with this situation with USADA but it appears she’s ready to get her career back on track by returning to the Octagon this summer.