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Leah McCourt says muscle ‘ripped from the bone’, off Bellator Belfast

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Leah McCourt waited patiently for PFL’s acquisition of Bellator to get rebooked, and now she’ll unfortunately have to wait even longer to step back into the cage.

Tuesday, McCourt (8-3) confirmed on social media that she is off the Bellator Champions Series event March 22 in Belfast, Northern Ireland due to multiple injuries. The cancellation was first reported by Severe MMA.

McCourt was expected to face Sinead Kavanagh (9-6) in a featherweight rematch.

“Devastated to have to write this and let you know during a sparring accident I sustained a broken rib & torn oblique,” McCourt wrote. “I cannot get medically cleared to fight nor could I physically be able to fight in Belfast. This may require surgery and will know more in the next few weeks. The muscle has been ripped from the bone and the pain is excruciating. When I didn’t get the title fight I was asked what fight I wanted it was this so especially disappointed.”

Adding insult to injury, McCourt is a Belfast native. Premier MMA organizations seldom grace her home country with live events, so McCourt had intended to make it a career highlight.

“I don’t understand the heartbreak and pain of circumstances of everything that’s happened so far this year but I trust God’s plan that all these things are part of something big and better ahead. I have fought with torn ligaments, Blown out knees … everything and this the first time an injury has been too serious to be able to fight as I warned the break could puncture an organ if I don’t do as surgeon has requested and have total rest. I will do everything I can to return as soon as possible.

“… After fighting around the world in so many amazing cities all I ever wanted to do was have the chance to fight in Belfast so this is especially devastating.”

McCourt, 31, was aligned for a title shot against Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. The two fighters even had an in-cage square-off at Bellator 299 in September.

Following the merger, however, McCourt was booked vs. Kavanagh instead, as the PFL-Bellator regime and Cyborg’s team work to get on the same page.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator Champions Series: Belfast.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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