Fresh off a triumphant three-fight winning streak, Molly McCann, nicknamed “Meatball,” faced a challenging setback with consecutive first-round submissions in her previous encounters.
Erin Blanchfield put an end to McCann’s winning streak in November 2022, followed by a submission defeat by Julija Stoliarenko in her home country. Heading into UFC Vegas 85, it seemed as though McCann’s career was at a crossroads, but she defied the odds with a remarkable first-round armbar finish against Diana Belbiţă.
Acknowledging the significance of the UFC Vegas 85 victory, McCann expressed raw emotion in the aftermath of her first win since July 2022.
During the post-fight media scrum, she candidly reflected on the challenging 14 months that included the disappointments of her previous two high-profile fights, both in prominent venues, as reported by MMAJunkie.com.
“It’s just been the hardest 14 months of my life,” McCann revealed at the UFC Fight Night 235 post-fight press conference. “My biggest dream was to fight at MSG, and (I) got destroyed. I got a co-main event in London, and it got destroyed.
“I had to really dig in deep to see if I really wanted it. My coach pulled me aside and asked, ‘How much do you really want to be a champion? It’s going to cost that to make this weight and to achieve at this weight.’ Every single person online doubted me. Every single person gave me hell. That’s icing on top of the cake, that performance. It’s not going to shut them up, obviously, but I couldn’t have done any better. It was mixed martial arts.”
With McCann now back in the win column, her return to the Octagon might take a measured approach, depending on the recovery of her injured hand. McCann disclosed plans to have her sore hand X-rayed, and her next steps will be determined based on the results of the examination.