Molly McCann: Vegas & Beyond
By James Lee
As Molly McCann aims to recover from a third career loss, recuperation has fortunately become the dominant theme across her career.
Few, especially McCann, can forget her promotional debut. As she returned back to her place of glory months after achievement, the fighting game revealed its hand and unwillingness to accommodate the perfect narrative.
As fans packed the Echo Arena early, Gillian Robertson disturbed the scheduled celebration and halted the ideal introduction. An early submission for the American questioned McCann’s position in the UFC, but she resisted that notion.
A win over Priscilla Cachoeira less than a year later ensured her place in history as the first female fighter from England to win inside the coveted octagon. A subsequent victory against Ariane Lipski proved her worth against a highly-touted, former world champion, and a dismantling over the Romanian Diana Belbita afterwards showcased a burgeoning grappling base.
So, it cannot be doubted that her defeat to Taila Santos dealt a disappointing blow, but context is important.
Under three years ago, she claimed the Cage Warriors flyweight title. Under five years ago, she co-headlined Shinobi War 9 at the Liverpool Olympia. Shortly before that, McCann claimed the Shock N Awe flyweight title, and the year before that, she was unsuccessful in a venture to Sao Paulo in her second professional fight.
McCann is now preparing to fight at the same event as Alistair Overeem, Frankie Edgar, and Beneil Dariush. Whatever happens this weekend or going forward in her career, few can ever take away her accomplishments. Reaching the sport’s pinnacle promotion and excelling is something few can say they have done.
That is seemingly not enough for McCann, however. She has title aspirations, and promisingly, her division is still young in its development. A fourth win in the UFC would leave her in a unique situation, whereby she is two or three fights away from that title challenge.
However, the champion who monitors the top of the mountain makes the acquisition of the flyweight throne almost impossible. Though, greatness will be awarded for the one who does finally perpetuate that dethroning. The positive thing for all contenders at 125 lbs is they all may get a turn to provide that ousting providing they can acquire a fitting streak.
As her once three-fight win streak is no longer, the momentum from that is not entirely quashed. A promotional push may be sought soon, as her wins, especially over the likes of Ariane Lipski, will always count for something. But crucially, she must forget about the past and focus on the present, as the Las Vegas’ bright lights, and the eagerness of Lara Procopi stands in the way of a restart for the Next Generation fighter.