Molly 'Meatball' McCann makes her UFC return in new weight class this weekend against familiar foe
Molly McCann makes her long awaited UFC return this weekend as she faces Romanian Diana Belbiţă on the prelims of UFC fight night Roman Dolidze vs Nassourdine Imavov.
The 'Meatball' trains out of Next Generation MMA, a gym famous for producing top talents like fellow Liverpudlian UFC fighter Paddy 'The Baddy' Pimblett. But 33-year-old McCann has had a mixed bag of results since her UFC debut in 2018, with six wins and five losses.
McCann is an exciting fighter, her fearlessness and willingness to put it all on the line is something to be admired. If you want any reason to why she is so loved. You only need to watch her knockout of the year contender against Luana Carolina or her knockout win against Hannah Goldy.
She made history in 2019 when she became the first English female to win a fight in the UFC, beating Priscila Cachoeira. Saturday's fight against Belbiţă at UFC Apex in Nevada will see McCann making her debut in the straw-weight division (115lbs) after previously competing at flyweight (125lbs).
The reasons for moving down weight class is because McCann found herself struggling against bigger competition. McCann normally starts her training camps at around 135lbs.
Speaking to Fighters Only about the move down in weight she said: “I feel like I’ll just be able to be as strong as the people I’m fighting, and I won’t have to rely on just being like a machine gun. When I fight people that are taller than me, it’s constant pressure, having to push, push, push. I’ve only fought one person in the UFC as tall as me, and her name was Hannah Gold and the fight was done in about 90 seconds, so yeah. I think 115 is for me.”
It not uncommon for many MMA fighters to walk around 10, 20 or even 30lbs heavier than the weight class they compete in to give themselves an advantage in the fight when they re-hydrate.
The fight can been seen on TNT Sports and her octagon walk is expected to be around 11pm. She will be facing a familiar opponent in Belbiţă. The two first met in 2019, when McCann dominated her way to victory winning 30-26 on all three judges score cards.
Belbiţă would have one more fight in the flyweight division before moving down to the straw-weight division. Since her move down in weight class she has won two and lost two. A lot of pressure will be on her this fight, if she loses it is likely she will be cut from the promotion.
Its expected to be a big year for McCann as it was recently announced that the BBC will be releasing a documentary following the lives of herself an Pimblett. 'Paddy and Molly: No Mersey' will follow the lives of the two UFC stars as they enter the next stages of their respective careers. The two Scousers are best friends and are always be each others side as they fight.
Speaking about the documentary the pair said: ”We can’t wait for you all to see what a day in the life for us both entails. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and a lot goes into what we do. You won’t believe it until you see it so get watching!”