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Molly McCann knew that everything was on the line during her UFC Fight Night showdown against Ji Yeon Kim in Las Vegas last weekend – and won despite having a ten-inch reach disadvantage.
Meatball, as she is fondly known around Liverpool, went into the bout knowing that her UFC career was on the line following back-to-back defeats in the second and third fights of her four-fight contract.
Refusing to dismiss the possibility that her time in the promotion might've been coming to an end, Molly left nothing to chance as she overwhelmed Kim to score unanimous points victory.
As well as watching her close pal Paddy Pimblett win in style on his first UFC outing despite being told she had to stay away from the Octagon after her own fight, McCann enjoyed one of the best nights of her career.
McCann told Daily Star Sport: "I believe that no one can get into the rhythm as long as I set the pace.
"It was all about range management. She had a 10 inch reach on her arms compared to mine – she should've been dictating the pace. In every interview before the fight I said whoever controls the distance wins.
"I just knew that I could not let her do that. Even when I took the headbutt I don't even remember the rest of the round, and f*** knows how someone with a 10 inch range disadvantage wins a boxing match.
"I couldn't throw kicks because even at kicking range she could punch me – her arms were so long.
"I watched a lot of Daniel Cormier, Petr Yan and Max Holloway, to see how to dictate that pace when you're the smaller fighter, I watched a lot of Mike Tyson in fight camp as well."
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Celebrations didn't take long to get into full swing following the most crucial of victories for the 31-year-old, with Paddy The Baddy joining celebrations alongside Welshman Jack Shore after another impressive win of his own.
McCann said of the mood in the post-fight bubble: "We were having a drink and Jack Shore's dad Richard had a bottle of Dana White's whiskey.
"So I was on his knee having a shot of whiskey and I put Insta story online (to Dana) saying send us some whiskey. Give us a Sponsorship
"Anyway an hour later he had two crates of whiskey dropped off for us. And we just got bladdered. It was an uncomfortable flight back let me tell you that much."
While their respective victories over Kim and Luigi Vendramini will live long in the memory of those lucky enough to be inside the UFC Apex last weekend, the celebrations of McCann for her team-mate Paddy will have been echoed throughout Liverpool.
McCann said: "I was doing it on interview with Megan Olivi and I could half see him getting lit up to be fair to the lad. I just said "Meg I'm done love" and ran out after being told I wasn't allowed to watch him.
"I was told I had to stay in the back but I just ran out and started screaming."
Adding: "There's a video Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping watching the result and I'm just in the background jumping up in the air. And when he done it I just ran over to the cage.
I've known Patrick for 12 years and he was telling me about the UFC before I really knew what it was and we had that fairytale moment really – and you are never really going to see that moment again."
Catch the full replay of Molly's bout at UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: BRUNSON vs. TILL on Fight Pass, the home of UFC.
- Dana White
- Mike Tyson
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