Streaking challenger, Julia ‘Raging Panda’ Avila is certainly striking while the iron’s hot. Fresh from an incredible twenty-two second knockout of the returning, Gina Mazany last weekend in Vegas – the Californian is set to meet with inaugural flyweight best, Nicco Montaño on August 8th. – in a bantamweight rematch.
Avila and Montaño first met under the HD MMA banner, with Avila scored a unanimous decision in January 2017, taking the promotion’s bantamweight championship in the process. News of the pairing was initially reported by MMA Fighting reporters, Mike Heck and Damon Martin.
Arizona native, Montaño looks to finally hit the ground running in the promotion, following a string of mishaps following her brief reign as the UFC’s first flyweight titleholder. The 31-year-old made her first Octagon walk last July, dropping a unanimous decision to the returning, Julianna Peña.
The return marked Montaño’s first outing after a six-month USADA suspension after an out of competition test sample she had provided has tested positive for the banned substance, ostarine. Montaño’s flyweight title run came to an abrupt stop, before a UFC 228 meeting with current gold holder, Valentina Shevchenko. Ahead of the tie, Montaño was forced to withdraw prior to the official weigh-ins after she was admitted to hospital due to the effects of weight-cutting. The Jackson-Wink MMA trainee was subsequently stripped of the flyweight crown.
Making her promotional bow back at UFC 239 in July of last year, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, Avila took a unanimous decision judging over TUF finalist, Pianne Kianzad. As well as her victory over, Montaño – Avila also holds a win over fellow bantamweight contender, Marion Reneau which came her 2012 professional debut.