A pivotal women’s flyweight bout was featured on the preliminary portion of the UFC 281 fight card from Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. Unbeaten inside the UFC octagon, submission specialist Erin Blanchfield (9-1) took on fan-favorite “Meatball” Molly McCann (13-4) at 125-pounds.
The 23-year-old New York native Blanchfield had three wins with the UFC, and despite fighting in her own backyard, could see her opponent get the bigger pop from fans on November 12 when they meet at MSG.
The 32-year-old Liverpool, England native McCann fought five times for the UFC, but has reached historic heights of popularity alongside Next Generation MMA Livepool teammate Paddy Pimblett.
McCann told reporters during UFC 281’s pre-fight presser earlier this week that she recently contacted UFC superstar Conor McGregor and asked for his advice regarding her newfound notoriety. McGregor was happy to lend a helping hand and give “Meatball” some words of wisdom according to a report from MMA Mania.
“I messaged him going, ‘How do you handle this? Because you can blow up, and then you can blow up. I couldn’t quite get me head around how sometimes people are with ya.
“And it was just like. ‘When you get in the gym, it’s just the gym. Don’t let no one else in. Keep everyone outside. Always remember it’s just fighting. You’re a cage warrior. That’s what we are, we’re Cage Warriors champions.
“He said some mad things about ‘Valentina’s gonna get a Mac smacking.’ All these… it was so poetic and it was so lovely.
“Me partner Ellis printed it off and put it in a sign in MSG and it’s in me front room. So everyday, if I’m struggling, or if I’m feeling good but I don’t need to get ahead of meself, got a big fat head and walk around with an ego, it’s to stay grounded and realize that I’m just here to win.”
Tonight however, was not McCann’s night. Blanchfield took her down early, put McCann in a crucifix and just went off with punches and elbows to the face. McCann had no answer and then Blanchfield moved to attack the arm and submitted “Meatball” by way of kimura. Following the fight’s conclusion, it is announced that Blanchfield landed 111 strikes compared to McCann’s six.
— UFC (@ufc) November 13, 2022
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