Molly McCann is looking for a fresh start after making the decision to drop from flyweight to strawweight.
After a blistering three-fight win streak that saw her outpoint Ji Yeon Kim, then knock out Luana Carolina and Hannah Goldy, McCann was riding the crest of a wave. But back-to-back first-round submission losses to Erin Blanchfield and Julija Stoliarenko sent her back to the drawing board, where she made the decision to make the move down from 125 to 115 pounds for her future outings.
Chatting backstage at Cage Warriors 160 in Manchester, McCann explained the thinking behind her decision.
“The naysayers can say what they want to say, that’s absolutely fine,” she said.
“But when I started MMA … there wasn’t much science behind it. It was like, run yourself into the ground to try and make weight. And that’s what we used to do. And if you look at me and Patrick, we used to go really, really fat. And then I stopped kind of going that fat.
“Paul Reed came on the scene, and the last three fights I’ve done, I haven’t had to do a weight cut, so we’ve just dieted to weight. And I feel like the last two fights, the girls have just been too big and too strong. I’ve been able to maneuver until I haven’t been. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying that.
“So, I’m sitting at 135 now, and I used to start camp at 135 for 125, so I wouldn’t really cut. So now we’ve got eight kilos to do. When I was on Cage Warriors, I used to do five (kilos) the night before (weigh-ins), so it’s light work. I should be out in January, maybe the end of December and, yeah, it’s a fresh start for me.”
McCann admitted that finding herself up against naturally bigger, stronger opposition has put her up against it in recent outings, and said that the time was right to drop down to fight at her optimal weight category and face opponents of a similar size.
“I feel like I’ll just be able to be as strong as the people I’m fighting, and I won’t have to rely on just being like a machine gun,” she said.
“When I fight people that are taller than me, it’s constant pressure, having to push, push, push.
“I’ve only fought one person in the UFC as tall as me, and her name was Hannah Goldy, and the fight was done in about 90 seconds, so yeah. I think 115 is for me.”
McCann reiterated her plan to return to action in December or January as she gets set to arrive in the strawweight division with a bang to kick off 2024.
“December (or) January. I’ll be ready for December. If the cards are all full, which they might be, I know Mick will be looking to put me on as soon as possible,” she said.
“So I’m not getting Christmas dinner this year, kids! I’m gonna be on the salad! So yeah, I’m really, really excited for the 115 (division). I’m really excited to just shut people up.”
McCann may be swerving comfort food over the festive period, that hasn’t stopped her from branching out into a new venture, an Italian restaurant.
Called “Polpetta” (Italian for “meatballs”), the restaurant opened up in Liverpool’s Baltic Market, and has already attracted thousands of social media followers with mouth-watering pics of the pasta and sandwich dishes that are the venue’s speciality.
McCann explained, “Obviously, I love food. Me and Paddy eat all the time. A fighter from our gym, he sorts all our meal preps, my friend, Joel … one drunken evening, we just decided to open a restaurant!
“It took about six months of hard graft, solid work, and we finally opened. So, if any of you fancy an Italian in Liverpool, get down to Polpetta!
“Obviously, my nickname is ‘Meatball.’ I used to make sandwiches, so we make the best sandwiches, the best pastas, and the best sides, in town.”
Unfortunately, the traditionally rich Italian dishes on Polpetta’s menu make enjoying them a rare treat for McCann, especially now she’s making the drop from flyweight to strawweight to continue her career.
When asked if she gets to eat the food herself, she laughed, “Absolutely not! People go, ‘Do you eat it?’ and I’m like, ‘No. I’m not allowed!’ because there’s that much going on in it! There’s so much cream and cheese, so I’m definitely not allowed anymore! But it’s out of this world!”