Molly McCann wasn’t about to let her home-court advantage go to waste.
The Liverpool-based flyweight was clearly pumped to be fighting in the U.K. on Saturday, and that was bad news for opponent Priscila Cachoeira.
McCann held her own against a striker, dominated when the fight hit the ground, and then gutted her way through a possible orbital fracture in the third round en route to a unanimous decision. The judges’ scores at UFC London were 29-28 across the board.
“Honestly I’ve been through hell and back since the last fight,” McCann said after becoming the first English woman to win a UFC fight. “I wanted to give a performance you’d be proud of.”
In the opening round, both competitors came out swinging, as Cachoeira landed but McCann answered with solid counters. Later in the round, McCann scored a takedown and then went to work hunting for submissions. After a choke attempt wasn’t quite positioned right, McCann transitioned to a triangle and then an armbar attempt.
The second round saw McCann pick up the pace and get the better end of the striking. In the third, Cachoeira landed a right which appeared to cause an orbital bone injury as McCann’s left eye swelled nearly shut.
Cachoeira poured things on, and in the final minute, the referee called timeout so the doctor could check McCann out. The doctor took a look at an eye completely swollen shut and judged McCann fit to continue, as the fight went the distance.
With the victory, McCann (8-3) shook off a loss in her UFC debut and won for the seventh time in her past eight fights. Cachoeira, whose UFC debut last year was a horrifically one-sided loss to current flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, dropped to 8-2.