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Molly McCann Sheds ‘Meatball’ Persona After UFC Fight Night 235 Victory


McCann believes she shed all parts of her “Meatball” persona
leading up to her strawweight debut at
UFC Fight Night 235.

McCann rose to prominence in the
UFC on the heels of three-fight winning streak from September
2021 to July 2022. However, back-to-back submission losses led to
her droping to strawweight, where she made her divisional debut in
a rematch against Diana
Belbita on Saturday. The Liverpudlian quieted the doubters by
submitting Belbita with an armbar in the opening frame.

McCann reflected on her journey during the UFC Fight Night 235
post-fight media scrum.

“It’s just been the hardest 14 months of my life. My biggest dream
was to fight at MSG, and [I] got destroyed. I got co-main event at
London and got destroyed,” she said.

“I had to really dig in deep to see if I really wanted it. My coach
pulled me aside and asked, ‘How much do you really want to be a
champion? It’s going to cost that to make this weight and to
achieve at this weight.’ Every single person online doubted me.
Every single person gave me hell. That’s icing on top of the cake,
that performance. It’s not going to shut them up, obviously, but I
couldn’t have done any better. It was mixed martial arts.”

Along with the new weight class, McCann believes she has also
turned over a new leaf mentally, different from her previous
“Meatball” persona.

“This fight was about me vs. me,” McCann said. “It wasn’t about me
vs. the opponent. I didn’t want to be drawn into something that was
going to heighten my emotion and [cause] me to react and act a bit
more and be like ‘The Meatball.’

“I’m Molly now. I don’t look like a meatball, I’m not walking like
a meatball, and I’m not talking like one anymore. I’m cool, calm,
and collected, and this was my moment. This is all me.”

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