Dana White reacts to Nicco Montano’s latest fight cancellation: ‘This might not be the sport for her’
After weighing seven pounds over the limit for her most recently scheduled fight, Nicco Montano was removed from UFC Vegas 33, which was the fifth time in a row she’s been booked and yet unable to compete. While a disastrous weight cut stopped Montano from competing this past weekend, she’s also suffered through injuries, a…
After weighing seven pounds over the limit for her most recently scheduled fight, Nicco Montano was removed from UFC Vegas 33, which was the fifth time in a row she’s been booked and yet unable to compete.
While a disastrous weight cut stopped Montano from competing this past weekend, she’s also suffered through injuries, a car accident, COVID-19 related cancellations as well as travel restrictions that prevented her from making it to a fight.
Of course, weight issues cost Montano her UFC flyweight title in 2017 after she was crowned as the first ever women’s champion at 125 pounds only to be stripped of the belt 10 months later. When she was just hours away from stepping on the scale for a fight against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228, Montano ended up in the hospital following a particularly brutal weight cut, which in turn cost her the title.
Since then, Montano has only competed one time in a unanimous decision loss to Julianna Pena in 2019.
This latest issue with Montano coming in seven pounds over for a bantamweight fight has UFC president Dana White questioning if her future should be in mixed martial arts.
“I don’t know off the top of my head but like over three or four of her fights have been cancelled,” White told UFC Arabia. “I think that no matter what weight class you put her at, she seems to have a hard time making weight. This might not be the sport for her.”
In a statement posted to her Instagram after her recent fight cancellation, Montano explained her process in the attempt to get down to the bantamweight limit before she eventually weighed 143 pounds.
“I have done this cut before but unfortunately it just didn’t work out this time around,” Montano wrote. “I think the most important thing for me to do is focus on getting my weight down healthily. Believe me, I didn’t want this to happen and did everything in my power to make sure it didn’t but sometimes life kicks you in the balls over and over and over. But I’m learning that it’s only making me stronger and more resilient for what’s to come.”
Montano had actually been working out of the UFC Performance Institute in preparation for her previously scheduled fight but it’s unclear if the team there was handling her weight cut. She had worked with the staff from the UFC Performance Institute in a past attempt to get down to flyweight, which was documented in a new film focused on Montano that’s due out on Friday and was also featured on the HBO series “Real Sports.”
White added that the UFC Performance Institute is definitely a tool for the fighters to use but it’s still ultimately their responsibility to make weight and decide where they will compete.
“These guys are in control of their own lives, their own careers, do their thing,” White said.
“They have the people there at the [UFC Performance Institute] to help them out if they don’t have their own people. But at the end of the day, it’s ultimately their decision. Look at Nicco and how many times it’s happened. Once that starts to happen, we get involved and say you know what, this isn’t working out.”
How AC Milan missed out on Ghanaian youngster Felix Afena-Gyan
Afena Gyan scores brace for AS Roma against Genoa
Afena-Gyan makes Serie A record
Afena-Gyan valued at €20m
Ghanaian youngster Felix Afena-Gyan may be excelling for AS Roma but he could have ended up at rivals AC Milan.
The youngster has risen from the youth side of the Italian giants and taking a spot on the first team where he is in the process of establishing himself as a key cog in Jose Mourinho’s side.
His two goals in AS Roma’s victory over Genoa made him the first player born in 2003 to score in the Italian top flight league.
It has however emerged that Afena-Gyan was once on the books AC Milan and could have had his development in Milan instead of Rome.
Oliver Arthur, the Ghanaian football agent credited with the discovery of the 18-year-old has revealed that Afena-Gyan had trials with AC Milan who were interested in signing him.
Oliver Arthur says the choice of AS Roma as the club for Afena-Gyan was informed by his quest to get a place where the youngster’s development was not going to be impeded.
“He initially had trials at AS Roma, then Sassuolo before going to AC Milan. Milan, just like the other clubs, was very much interested in him. But, we needed to make a decision and look at the best for the player and we settled on AS Roma,” he said Kumasi-based Pure FM.
Oliver Arthur also spoken about how the youngster’s stock has risen since he broke into the first team of AS Roma.
He disclosed that Afena-Gyan is now valued at €20million following his good display for AS Roma.
“It will really be difficult. Very difficult. Range? May be between €15m-€20m. For what he’s done and the abilities he possesses, I think, yes, €20m” he told Angel TV
Africa to use VAR in World Cup play-offs after Ghana vs South Africa incident
Ghana defeats South Africa 1-0
South Africa petitions FIFA over penalty in Ghana game
Senegalese referee to be punished by FIFA, says South Africa coach
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used in the final phase of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Gianni Infantino, the President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has said.
Infantino has disclosed that FIFA and CAF will use the technology in the play-off to improve officiating in those matches.
Speaking at the extraordinary general assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Cairo, Egypt Infantino said FIFA is making efforts to enhance the quality of matches and introduction of VAR is one of the measures.
“The final stage of the African World Cup qualifiers will see an improvement in refereeing performance due to the use of VAR,” said Infantino.
The President of CAF, Patrice Motsepe who is a South African refused to comment on the specific case of Ghana versus South Africa but promised an investment in officiating.
“We are going to invest in the competitions because our competitions are everything,” said Motsepe.
“That’s why the announcement that we are making today regarding referees is critically important. Africa have got good referees, and we have got world-class referees. We’ve also got referees who are not so good.
“Then we’ve also got referees who are even further from not so good, but they all try. We want to train them, and also pay them good money and look after them. So that they can make a career out of being referees.”
Ghana defeated South Africa 1-0 at the Cape Coast Stadium on November 14, 2021 via a controversial penalty.
Defender Daniel Amartey earned Ghana the penalty which was converted by skipper Andre Ayew on the 33rd minute.
South Africa took issues with the decision by referee Ndiaye and petitioned FIFA to probe what they perceive to be match manipulation.
According to SAFA, the referee was compromised and thus ruled the game in favour of the host team.
The Ghana Football Association has meanwhile disputed the claims and emphasized the Black Stars deserved victory.
It is expected FIFA will issue a verdict on the game in the coming days.
The draw for the play-off will be held in January next year after the Africa Cup of Nations.
The ten countries that have qualified include Ghana, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
Forget about replay FIFA, will only ban referee Ndiaye Maguette – Hugo Broos
It appears that head coach of South Africa, Hugo Broos has given up hope of forcing a replay of the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana from FIFA.
The Black Stars defeated the Bafana Bafana of South Africa by a lone goal to secure the only slot in group G for the play offs of the 2022 World Cup.
South Africa after the game accused the match official of match fixing, match manipulation among others before lodging an official complaint with FIFA.
Ghana had a penalty after Daniel Amartey went to ground in the penalty box following a challenge from Rushine De Reuck although it appeared soft there was a nudge in the back of the Leicester City defender.
The Senegalese referee Ndiaye Maguette who was standing just a few meters outside the penalty box swiftly awarded the penalty without any second thought.
FIFA urged the two Associations that is Ghana and South Africa to present any comments or evidence it deems appropriate latest by 20th November 2021 as they referred the protest to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee who began their work on 23rd November,2021.
FIFA is now due to issue a verdict on that appeal which has created friction between Ghana and South Africa in football circles.
Ahead of the verdict, South Africa’s Belgian tactician doesn’t seem confident.
“Fifa met on Tuesday,” Broos told HLN Sportcast. “We expect a decision in the course of this week. It’s not just about the penalty kick, it’s about the whole game. The referee made 71 decisions, 47 of which were foul. The analysis has shown that. And 90 percent of those 47 wrong decisions were against us.”
“You have to be able to prove something like that in black and white. Was he bribed? Wasn’t he pressured? Or was he just having a really bad day? The numbers are there, but is that enough for FIFA? I personally think that it will remain with a suspension for the referee and that we should not count on a replay.” he said.
The draw for the play offs will come off in January while the matches will be played in March 2022.