Nicco Montaño Becomes First UFC Navajo Champion

Nicco Montaño

Published December 3, 2017

LUKACHUKAI, ARIZONA –  On Friday night, Dec. 1, Navajo tribal member Nicco Montaño defeated Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision to become the first Navajo UFC Flyweight Champion.

On behalf of the Navajo Nation, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez congratulate her.

Tomorrow, Dec. 3, a parade scheduled at noon, will be held to honor Montaño in her hometown of Lukachukai, Arizona. According to local organizers, the parade route will run along Route 13 from Totsoh Trading Post to the Giant Community store and back again. Afterwards, there will be a potluck luncheon provided for by community members.

After her victory, Montaño immediately acknowledged who she was, where she came from and tied her language into her speech.

In a post-fight interview Montaño said that she wants to return to Chinle, Tsaile and Lukachukai to remind all the kids that despite hardship “we know how to live off the land, we know how to use the necessities of everything and not just take everything for granted.”

President Begaye said that Montaño worked hard and earned the title for the efforts she put into her training.

“Congratulations goes to Montaño, her coaches and her family,” President Begaye said. “To achieve the belt at the highest level is remarkable. She has earned the title and deserves to be called a champion.”

Vice President Nez applauded her for being an inspiration to Navajo people.

“Montaño’s achievement is a reminder that there are great athletes on the Navajo Nation,” Vice President Nez said. “There are many of our people who are proud of her accomplishment and they look up to her. It reminds us that each of us holds the ability to reach our full potential in life.”

“We are strong, resilient people and I appreciate Montaño for being an inspiration for our Diné people,” Vice President Nez added.

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