UFC: Molly McCann azt mondja, hogy fontolóra vette a visszavonulást, mielőtt szalmasúlyba süllyedt volna

It was at Euston station in July, waiting for a train back to Liverpool, when Molly McCann opened up.

UFC: Molly McCann azt mondja, hogy fontolóra vette a visszavonulást, mielőtt szalmasúlyba süllyedt volna
UFC: Molly McCann azt mondja, hogy fontolóra vette a visszavonulást, mielőtt szalmasúlyba süllyedt volna

McCann had just suffered defeat by Julija Stoliarenko at UFC London at the O2 Arena – her second successive first-round submission loss.

The chastening experience caused McCann to question her future in mixed martial arts (MMA), prompting the 33-year-old to turn to her team and say she was “done”.

“You can’t co-main in your home country and be embarrassed in that way and think ‘I’m the best in the world’ because I wasn’t,” McCann tells BBC Sport.

“What we do is so time consuming, mentally draining, the fans have so much of a say on your life. I was like ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get out of this one’, because the world ridiculed me like I was the scum of the earth to every man and his dog.”

McCann had momentarily lost confidence in her ability, but her coach Paul Rimmer’s belief never wavered.

He sat McCann down in a coffee shop and told her what she needed to do.

“Listen, this is what you’re doing. I promise I’d tell you if I thought you were going to get hurt or you can’t challenge for things. But Molly, the girls are too big here, you need to drop down,” said Rimmer.

McCann has spent her entire UFC career, which has yielded six wins from 11 fights in almost six years, at flyweight.

But when she returns to the octagon in Las Vegas on Saturday to face Romania’s Diana Belbita, she will do so at strawweight.

“I’ve got a new sense of calm, reserve and contentment at this weight. I’m at peace with it,” said McCann.

“It’s a harsh reality I’ve spent my whole career at the wrong weight, but maybe my skillset wasn’t ready for this weight class until now.

“I’m in the shape of my life, and if you can’t beat them you’ve got to join them. I can’t beat the bigger girls so I’ve got to use their tact.

“And we’ve done it correctly. I’m not killing myself to make the weight because I’ve been so disciplined. We’ve dropped a weight category but I’m still hitting the same numbers on my lifting as I was at 125lb. It’s a bit of a rebirth.”

‘This fight is for Ryan’

UFC: Molly McCann azt mondja, hogy fontolóra vette a visszavonulást, mielőtt szalmasúlyba süllyedt volna
UFC: Molly McCann azt mondja, hogy fontolóra vette a visszavonulást, mielőtt szalmasúlyba süllyedt volna

The latter part of McCann’s training camp for the bout with Belbita has been overshadowed by a serious injury to her friend Ryan Curtis.

Curtis was involved in a “life-changing” training accident this month which left the Irishman with a broken back, a broken neck and dislocated spine.

A fundraising page has been set up for Curtis, which has raised more than £130,000.

Shortly before the interview, McCann received a video from Curtis of him telling her how much she inspires him.

“He’s paralysed from the neck down, he can’t lift his phone up, and he’s just sent me this unreal video,” said an emotional McCann.

“It’s so hard because I went to see him on Sunday, the only day off I had. I flew over to Belfast. I spent the day with him and we had such a good chat.

“Times have been really tough this camp, the last couple of weeks. I really had to put it on the backburner this week because you know what [the] fighting family is like – you’re closer than blood and he’s one of ours.”

McCann is dedicating her fight against Belbita to Curtis, and plans to use the Irishman’s walkout music when she makes her way to the octagon.

“It’s really tough but I just promised him the win. I said to him ‘you might not make it into the UFC, but I’m going to walk out to your tune and I’m going to give you my gloves and my fight kit’,” said McCann.

“He promised me that he’d get out of the ICU [Intensive Care Unit] because in the ICU he wouldn’t have been able to have guests in the room, and he got out and he’s in the ward now.

“Him and his mates have ordered blow-up beds, he’s got an iPad to watch the fight. This one’s for him. If it gets into deep waters, this one’s for him.”

Deixe um comentário

O seu endereço de email não será publicado. Campos obrigatórios marcados com *