Molly McCann relieved by UFC strawweight debut win after ‘the hardest 14 months of my life’

LAS VEGAS – Molly McCann can breathe a little more easy after a successful strawweight debut.

The fan-favorite fighter foought for the first time at 115 pounds Saturday at UFC Fight Night 235. In dominant fashion, McCann (14-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) submitted Diana Belbita (15-9 MMA, 2-5 UFC) with an armbar in the first round of their bout.

It was an emotional moment for McCann, who was hoping to reinvent herself in a new weight class after off consecutive stoppage losses at 125 pounds.

“It’s just been the hardest 14 months of my life,” McCann said at the UFC Fight Night 235 post-fight press conference. “My biggest dream was to fight at MSG, and (I) got destroyed. I got co-main event at London and got destroyed.

“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.”

McCann is looking to return to the cage this summer. She’s determined to be a UFC champion and wants to start climbing her way up the rankings.

“My hand is a little sore. I’ll have that X-rayed, and I’ll have a look, take a week off, go back to the gym, and then assess when it’s best for us,” McCann said. “I hear July is in Manchester, and I’d really like to have a go then. I’m not one to call anyone out. I’m a company woman who takes any fight she’s given. Let’s hope that the matchmakers are fair, stylistically. Let me work through the rankings.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 235.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie