Nicco Montaño is recovering well after suffering injuries during a physical altercation at an Austin, Texas, hotel early Wednesday morning, the MMA fighter’s manager said.
Montaño, a former UFC champion who in the past has trained in Albuquerque, posted on social media that she’d been attacked and badly beaten by a male acquaintance. She named her alleged assailant, but his identity remains unclear. The Austin Police Department, citing an open investigation, released only a heavily redacted incident report. No arrests were made at the time.
“(The man) stood on my neck and stomped my face (and) then kept kicking me and shoving my hair into his fist and the corner of the bed frame,” Montaño wrote on Instagram.
“I got away for a second to run down the hall (naked) screaming for my life as he tried to drag me back by the hair. Luckily someone from the hotel heard my screams and came to my rescue.”
Later, Montaño wrote that she’d gone to a hospital for treatment and credited her MMA-honed self-defense skills for avoiding even more punishment.
“… I’m sooooo lucky to have the technique and strength that I have to have defended myself,” she wrote.
Her manager, Albuquerque’s Ricky Kottenstette, said in a phone interview on Thursday that he’d had Montaño flown to Albuquerque on Wednesday night. The fighter’s mother met her at the Sunport, he said, and drove her home to the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona.
“She’s all right,” Kottenstette said. “She’s got some head injuries, nothing permanent … and she has a leg injury.”
According to the Austin PD incident report, filed at 3:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, police responded to a call from a woman at Hotel Indigo, saying she’d just been assaulted. The rest of the first page of the report, the only page made available, was completely redacted.
Kottenstette said the alleged assailant was a man Montaño had been introduced to by a mutual friend.
“They were kind of seeing each other, not for a long period, but they were seeing each other,” he said.
Kottenstette said he didn’t know for sure why Montaño was in Austin.
“I think they went out there on a road trip,” he said. “She takes a lot of road trips, likes to travel around.”
After Montaño identified her alleged attacker on Instagram, a man responded, writing, “Always two sides to the story y’all and trust me Nicco and the rest of the world should probably sober up.
“… It’s terrible that she went to the hospital my only explanation is there’s two sides to a story so don’t get consumed with an assumption or a biased opinion.”
Wednesday’s incident was the latest in a difficult chain of events in Montaño’s life and career.
In December 2017, Montaño defeated Roxanne Modaferri to become the UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion and that organization’s first Native American champion.
After being hospitalized due to a failed weight cut in advance of her first title defense against current champion Valentina Shevchenko in September 2018, the UFC stripped Montaño of the title. Because of injuries and more problems making weight, she has fought only once since winning the title – a loss by unanimous decision to Julianna Peña in July 2019.
In August, after Montaño failed to make weight for a bantamweight fight against China’s Yanan Wu, she was released by the UFC.
Montaño has trained in Albuquerque at FIT-NHB and Jackson’s Acoma. Later, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and trained at Syndicate MMA.