The most recent footage of Molly McCann on one of her UFC fight appearances may have seen her charging around the arena in celebration, waving championship belts in the air and drinking from bottles of whisky, but the the “Meatball” who arrived in London for her second straight appearance in the English capital is one with a real sense of responsibility and humility.
McCann’s spectacular spinning elbow KO of Luana Carolina at UFC London in March was one of the most stunning knockouts of the year, and her wild celebrations – both after her win and after the victory of her friend and teammate Paddy Pimblett – will live long in the memory.
But while McCann’s highlight-reel win and celebration may have propelled her into the hearts and minds of many MMA fans around the world, the proud Evertonian is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.
“I think notoriety and all of that kind of thing means f**k all,” she told Fighters Only, and other reporters, at media day ahead of her upcoming UFC London bout with Hannah Goldy.
“None of it’s real. Just because you go out and people know my name, it doesn’t really change me as a person. It doesn’t change my life. It doesn’t change my family’s life.”
McCann explained that her ability to stay grounded despite her new-found global notoriety is down in large part to her support structure, whether it’s her family, friends, training partners, or simply the people of her home city.
“Liverpool has got a really good way of sometimes keeping you humble,” she smiled.
“I walk in that gym every day and get humbled by my training partners. My mum, my family, my girlfriend, everyone – I’m the butt of the joke all the time. Just because I fight, it doesn’t mean anything.”
While McCann said notoriety may not mean much, she hopes to leverage it for the benefit of others, and she revealed that it has also helped sharpen her focus on what she wants to achieve in her MMA career.
“I try to be more of a role model and less of just a bevvy head!” she laughed.
“I’ve tried to drink less and do more for the community since getting more notoriety, so that always keeps you humble.
“Through all of this journey, and through everything, and from the last fight, I’ve just realised I just want to be a world champion. I can’t look too far in the future, I’ll take every day and every fight as it comes.”
Her next test comes in the form of Goldy, who claimed a submission win on her last outing. It’s a fresh new test for McCann, who knows that whatever she did in her previous bout will count for nothing when she returns to the octagon on Saturday night.
“Like I say, I can’t live off that (last) performance forever,” she acknowledged.
“I need to make sure my next one outdoes that. However the finish may not ever outdo that last one, the fight IQ and the decision making should, and will.”