British MMA star Molly McCann has revealed the devastating impact her defeat in her UFC debut has had on her mental health.
‘Meatball’ was called up to the big leagues in 2018 after amassing an impressive 7-1 record and winning the Cage Warriors flyweight title.
The proud Scouser was part of the UFC’s first and only Liverpool card, but things didn’t go to plan against Gillian Robertson at the Echo Arena.
McCann, who lost weight before the fight, was dominated on the ground and then choked unconscious in front of friends, family and fans.
The 32-year-old struggled to come to terms with the defeat and admits she struggled to cope mentally in the weeks and months that followed.
“I had the opportunity to fight for the UFC. [I] participated in that and choked unconscious in the second round,” McCann told Gary Neville on The Overlap.
“For the first three weeks after the fight, every time I fell asleep I dreamed that it was the fight and that I had to wake up and I relived that moment. I had post-traumatic stress because of that.
“I sat down maybe a month later with the team and was like, ‘How can I move forward? How can I improve on this? I couldn’t even walk down the street and look people in the eye because I thought I let them down.
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A former boxer, McCann has put down her gloves and decided to dedicate the next few months to working on her ground game.
“I just did this 100 Days of Jiu-Jitsu thing. I thought, ‘I’m not going to be in my comfort zone.’ It could have been very detrimental to me, but I thought to myself, “Put yourself in this position every day.
“For 100 days I didn’t punch, I didn’t kick. I got strong, I dieted and I kept starting in the same position she started me in. finished, same position, same position.
“Then UFC London came along, and I had everything on my mind. I was like, okay, I’m going to wear the same colors that I lost to prove that’s not what I was wearing. I will do everything the same way.
The former Subway sandwich artist returned to the win column in her next fight and became a fan favorite, but she says she didn’t really get over her first loss until earlier this year.
McCann scored arguably the best knockout of 2022 so far when she caught Luana Carolina with a backward elbow at the O2 Arena in March.
“All this grudge and this impostor syndrome and this feeling of not being good enough,” she said. “I still went to every fight and fight camp until I knocked that girl out.”
McCann will be looking to extend her winning streak to three when she takes on Hannah Goldy at UFC London this Saturday.
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