The wheels for Nicco Montano's first title defense appear to be in motion.
The UFC is hoping to book the flyweight queen opposite former bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko for the main event of UFC on FOX 30 on July 28 in Calgary, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on Friday.
Montano became the promotion's first female 125-pound champion in December at "The Ultimate Fighter 26" finale, where she fought through a broken foot to take a unanimous decision over late fill-in Roxanne Modafferi after making her way through the season's tourney. The injury ultimately required surgery.
Shevchenko moved down to 125 pounds after falling to bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes in a razor-close split verdict at UFC 215 this past September, and laid a thrashing on newcomer Priscila Cachoeira capped by a second-round tapout in her divisional debut at UFC Fight Night 125 in February. As expected, president Dana White anointed her as Montano's challenger-in-waiting shortly thereafter.
A featherweight tilt between ex-champ Jose Aldo and Jeremy Stephens will co-headline the July event at Scotiabank Saddledome.