On Saturday night, Liverpool’s Molly McCann begins a new phase of her fight career.
Last summer, McCann was defeated by Juljia Stoliarenko by armbar submission inside the first two minutes of the first round in a fight in London which itself came eight or so months removed from another first-round submission loss, this time to Erin Blanchfield in New York City.
The pair of defeats came after McCann had recorded two sublime victories of her own over Luana Carolina and Hannah Goldy, both of which were authored by a spectacular spinning elbow.
But after learning some lessons from those recent defeats, McCann returns to the Octagon this weekend against Diana Belbiţă in what is her debut at strawweight (115-pounds) in the UFC, a move she explained to the media on Wednesday which came about amid a feeling that she just wasn’t big enough for the 125-pound fold she previously fought at.
“The drop was because I was outsized,” McCann told reporters, as noted by MMA Junkie. “I think you can always see that was the deal. I would always get in there, and you can see the girls would be so big. I remember doing a DEXA scan years ago, and they said if I dropped I would lose a lot of muscle and stuff, but this time we’ve done it and I haven’t.”
And she says the sacrifices she has made to drop to a new weight division have steeled her for competition this weekend, and beyond.
“Every fighter will say this, but I don’t cheat,” McCann added. “I really don’t cheat. I give everything I can, but I’ve found more. I’ve done it because this is my dream. I want to do this for as long as I can and as much as I can. I think I’ve done it at the right time. I got a bit of a name behind me. I’ve managed to beat some good girls. I’ve got some good finishes at a higher weight. I’ve gone away, perfected my craft making weight safely. I think if you look at me, I’m not drawn in.
“I just feel really calm and ready and there’s a new sense of stillness because I’ve done more, and I know what I’ve done. I’m just ready.”