Molly McCann thrilled audiences at UFC London last weekend when she knocked out Luana Carolina with a sensational spinning elbow. the victory followed up her unanimous decision win over Ji Yeon Kim last September and moved her UFC record to 5-3 (12-4 overall).
McCann appeared on this week’s The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to talk about that wild weekend in London. She also spoke about what’s next for her.
“I feel like I’m coming into my prime and I’m starting to get there,” said McCann (ht MMA Fighting). “The press have said a lot of stuff and the media have said a lot of stuff about me going for the belt, this, that, and the other, but I just know normally I would be drinking a lot more alcohol and eating a lot more shit food, but not now. I will always be training, I won’t be taking time off. I’m really, really focused about coming for that belt and I’m not gonna be calling [UFC flyweight champion Valentina] Shevchenko out, but if [Shevchenko’s scheduled opponent] Taila Santos gets an injury or anything like that in June, I’m over here.”
When asked about this new commitment to staying ready (so you don’t have to get ready), McCann said she was hoping to emulate the UK’s most successful MMA fighter to date.
“I feel like anyone anyone in the division should. If you wouldn’t jump at the opportunity then what are you doing? I would love to be like Michael Bisping.”
In 2016 Bisping famously filled in for Chris Weidman, on very short notice, to take on Luke Rockhold for the UFC middleweight title. ‘The Count’ came into the bout as a heavy underdog, mostly because he was submitted by Rockhold the first time they fought.
However, the bookies were wrong on this night, and Bisping shocked the MMA world with a KO punch to take the belt. The win turned Bisping from a notable high-level fighter to a Hall of Famer and one of the most recognizable voices in the sport.
If McCann were to get a short notice shot at Shevchenko, who is slated to defend her title against Santos at UFC 275 on June 11, the Bisping narrative would be hard to avoid. Any fighter facing Shevchenko in her division is likely to be an underdog.
Shevchenko’s looked unstoppable in the UFC, with only two close losses to Amanda Nunes to mar her record. Since winning the title in 2018 she’s defended it on six occasions.
In addition to leaving the door open for a short notice opportunity in June, McCann said she willing to fight any and all comers.
“I’d like to fight anyone. I feel like now people are gonna ask for me. I’m never one to ask for anyone because they’ll probably give me another Brazilian, to be honest, because they just love that. But in order to become the best, you have to beat the best, so our division is that good. I literally said post-fight I respect every single woman in the 125-pound division, and my performances are just getting better, so I’m not really scared. There’s not a style I’m apprehensive of.
“I was told online that my opponent had a more diverse skill set and I was gonna get submitted. A lot of people put that online. I shut her jiu-jitsu down, out-wrestled her, and beat someone with better range with an elbow. People just need to put a bit of respect on my name, I think.”
McCann is currently unranked at flyweight. She lost her UFC debut to Gillian Robertson back in 2018. Since then she has beaten Priscila Cachoeira, Ariane Lipski and Diana Belbita. Before her win over Kim last year she lost to Talia Santos and Lara Procopio.