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Molly McCann: From Cage Warriors Champion to UFC Contender

LockerRoom Team
21 July 2023

Molly McCann, born on 4 May 1990, is an English mixed martial artist who has left a significant impact on the sport. Hailing from Liverpool, she endured a challenging upbringing but rose above it to become a former Cage Warriors Flyweight Champion and a fierce competitor in the women's flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Early Life and Sports Journey

Raised in Liverpool's Norris Green area with her two sisters, McCann faced a difficult family situation, with an absent father and a mother struggling with substance abuse. Despite these challenges, her aunt played a crucial role in her upbringing. Molly explored various sports from a young age, starting with karate, kickboxing, and Thai boxing. She eventually discovered a passion for boxing at the age of 12 and even pursued a football career, representing Liverpool after being signed at 16 years old. However, an ankle ligament injury led her to retire from football.

Academic and MMA Journey

McCann continued her education and graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in sports development and physical education. During her early MMA career, she fought in Liverpool, supporting herself with work at Subway, which earned her the nickname "Meatball Molly". She proved her skills in various promotions, including Shock N' Awe, where she won the vacant Shock N' Awe Flyweight Championship and defended it once. In 2018, she claimed the vacant Cage Warriors Fighting Championship Women's Flyweight Championship by defeating Bryony Tyrell. With an impressive 7–1 record, McCann caught the attention of the UFC, leading to her signing with the prestigious promotion.

UFC Debut and Notable Fights

McCann made her UFC debut on 27 May 2018 against Gillian Robertson. Although she missed weight and faced a penalty, McCann displayed her tenacity inside the Octagon. She went on to secure victories against Priscila Cachoeira, Ariane Lipski, and Diana Belbiţă, earning a new four-fight contract with the UFC after her fight with Lipski. However, she faced a setback in a bout against Taila Santos, losing via unanimous decision. Despite challenges, McCann continued to showcase her determination, securing a win against Ji Yeon Kim in a Fight of the Night performance. Her path to success continued with impressive victories over Luana Carolina and Hannah Goldy, both earning her Performance of the Night bonuses.

Upcoming Bout and Personal Life

Scheduled to face Julija Stoliarenko on July 22, 2023, at UFC Fight Night 224, McCann remains determined to prove her skills and resilience inside the Octagon.

Outside of MMA, McCann's personal journey has seen its own challenges. She struggled with her sexuality during her youth but embraced her identity and came out publicly as a lesbian at the age of 25. Additionally, she is a close friend of fellow Liverpudlian mixed martial artist Paddy Pimblett and is a supporter of Everton and Celtic football clubs. McCann describes herself as a socialist and a Labour supporter, and she is vocal about her opposition to the Conservative Party.

With an impressive MMA career and a strong spirit, Molly McCann continues to inspire fans and fellow athletes alike with her determination, both inside and outside the cage.

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