Just five months ago, Molly McCann was stood on the brink.Entering the final fight of her contract off the back of consecutive defeats, the gritty Liverpudlian knew it was win or bust when she travelled out to .
The hugely popular fan-favourite went all-in in the desert, and came away with a career-defining victory and a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for good measure.
‘It was a pretty big win, mate,’ Meatball, 31, told Sportsmail of her triumph over Ji Yeon Kim.’The parties didn’t stop for about three months!
Molly McCann has vowed to deliver another Fight of the Night at UFC London next month
‘Pressure is privilege.To be in the position that we are, in a climate where people are losing their jobs every single day and I am still managing to work for such an amazing company that still lets me live my dream every day and still compete is just amazing.
‘When my back is against the wall, I will always deliver.It’s a fact, everyone knows the fights I’ve lost are when I’ve been expected to win.
‘The ones where I am the underdog are the ones that bring out the… when I retire, they will be the moments when people say «oh my god, she really brought it that day.»
Meatball, 31, stood up and delivered in Las Vegas in September on her final contracted fight
The Liverpudlian’s bout with Ji Yeon Kim was awarded Fight of the Night and she won $50k
‘Everyone could see in the fight camp, it was just… I knew I had to do everything I could to make sure I got that win and it wasn’t just Fight of the Night it was Fight of the Month so I was really really happy with that.I put a tweet online asking if I get another $50,000 bonus!’
Now McCann encounters pressure of a different sort. The affable flyweight will take to the Octagon in London on March 19, taking on Brazilian rival Luana Carolina in front of a vociferous British crowd.
The UFC hasn’t touched these shores in close to three years, owing to the pandemic, and tickets will be highly sought after with fans desperate to fill out the 18,000-seater O2 Arena to support McCann, Tom Aspinall and Paddy Pimblett.
Yet the added pressure of performing in front of an expectant home crowd is water off a duck’s back for Meatball, who is relishing the prospect of finally returning home.
Now McCann is back and will feature on a Britain-heavy card at UFC London on March 19
‘I feel like everyday when I go in the gym, me and Paddy look at each other and it is just butterflies, it’s just we cannot wait,’ she admits.
‘What we did as a country that night in September, as a nation, with Jack Shore from Wales, Tom Aspinall, even Darren [Till], even though he lost, we represented for the country, for the island that we are.
‘[It is] overwhelming because I have a really good relationship with…the people who support me. I wouldn’t say fans because I don’t believe I have fans, I just see everyone as my mates so I just get absolutely buzzing that everyone comes on a journey with me.
‘Everyone is dangerous from Britain, it’s not an easy night in the office for anyone who comes up against us, let alone coming to England.
‘All of us now, we can talk about the golden age of British MMA, we are in that era.Nathanial Wood is there, Arnold Allen is there, Corey McKenna is there, Jai Herbert is there.
McCann will feature alongside team-mate and partner in crime Paddy Pimblett on the card
The 31-year-old has promised ‘absolute carnage’ when she steps in to face Luana Carolina
‘Every single person on that card has faced so much adversity to crack it in an American-dominated sport really and this should be a PPV event.This will be the last time you will ever see the likes of Tom Aspinall and Paddy Pimblett and Arnold Allen on a non PPV card, 100 per cent, and myself.
‘When you walk out in that O2, I’m telling you now, it’s like the 12th man in a football game, I’ve walked out to fight a Brazilian in Brazil, I know how it feels, I know how it feels.You get on with it because it is your job but it is not something you want.’
Now the tables have turned, with Brazil’s Carolina making the trip across the Atlantic to enter the lion’s den. McCann, though, believes that no matter the location, her rival — who is enjoying a two-fight winning run — will perform.
Meatball revealed she and Pimblett are eyeing a Madison Square Garden appearance this year
‘When you put an unranked Brazilian against an unranked Meatball anywhere in this world, you are asking for Fight of the Night,’ she says.’So I am expecting three, five minutes of absolute carnage.
‘She is from Brazil, I am from Liverpool and we are the kind of people where it doesn’t matter if you are in a carpark, in a gymnasium, or in the O2 in London, a fight is a fight and we’re going to get it done.’
After facing the prospect of a possible UFC exit last September, McCann is desperate to enter the Octagon as many times as possible this year. If you have any queries relating to where and how to use slot jackpot terbesar, you can speak to us at our own web-site.
Meatball has formed a formidable double act with UFC rising star, Pimblett, and the pair have their sights set on the biggest stages after their London invasion.
‘I said to Paddy yesterday, we need to do Madison Square Garden this year.’
What a tantalising prospect that is.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: VOLKOV vs.ASPINALL tickets go on sale from 10 a.m. GMT on Friday, February 4, via AXS and Ticketmaster. To stay up to date with the latest ticketing information, register your interest via UFC.com/London.