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Molly McCann has sights set on her first UFC stoppage

UK & international sports | Published:

The Liverpool fighter faces Romania’s Diana Belbita in Boston’s TD Garden on Friday.

Molly McCann is eyeing her first stoppage win in the UFC on Friday

Liverpool flyweight Molly McCann is convinced she will make a statement against UFC debutant Diana Belbita in Boston on Friday night.

McCann became the first English woman to win in the UFC when she was awarded a unanimous decision over Priscila Cachoeira in London in March before outpointing Ariane Lipski in Greenville, South Carolina, in June.

Those two victories established McCann within the organisation but the 29-year-old is now craving a finish inside the distance and believes she will deliver that at the TD Garden against her Romanian opponent.

“I feel like this is the fight where I get to produce the big goods, the finish,” McCann told the PA news agency ahead of UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs. Weidman.

“I feel like getting my first win in March was a record in the books, the fight in America was a stamp of approval where even over the pond I can have a go.

“Now I can go in with no mindset of being nervous of a win or nervous of being put in a certain position and not getting through it. I’m very calm, I’m very ready and I’m raring to go.

“If I don’t end it inside the distance I’m going to be so disappointed in myself because of how hard I’ve trained and the roll that I’m on. I really just believe that the finish will present itself and I will take it.”

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In beating Lipski for her ninth win in 11 professional mixed martial arts contests, McCann was back in action three months after having her orbital bone fractured following a shot from Cachoeira.

Having convalesced from the injury in a remarkable time-frame, McCann insists it is not an issue and neither is there likely to be a repeat.

“I got the all-clear two-and-a-half weeks later – I’ve got Wolverine powers or something on the go. It was a fluke, it was a madness shot, a freak-of-nature accident kind of thing,” she said.

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“It’s healed well and I was informed by the surgeon there’s a million to one shot that will ever happen so I’m absolutely fine about it, the eye’s perfect.

“It’s just a little bit smaller, it looks like I’ve just got a lazy eye but apart from that it’s all good.”

Belbita has a record of 13 wins and four defeats in MMA but McCann feels she is a level above her opponent.

“I know she’s going to come in and try to impose her will the best that she can. If she can then fair play to her but I just don’t see that happening in my eyes,” McCann added.

“Anything can happen but I’m as well prepared as I’ve ever been in a fight in my career.

“I feel I’m at 80 per cent of my capacity as a martial artist. I think everyone can see the difference in me as a fighter. If you’ve watched the fights, it’s levelled up every single fight.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe I could be the best in the world, I really wouldn’t. My dream is to be the best in the world and that’s how good I believe I can be.”

:: UFC FIGHT NIGHT: REYES vs. WEIDMAN is live from midnight on Friday on BT Sport 1, with the early prelims exclusively live on UFC FIGHT PASS from 11pm.

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