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With no injury or added pressure, Ariane Lipski expects TKO finish over Molly McCann at UFC Greenville

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Brooklyn-Calderwood vs Lipski
Ariane Lipski will attempt to score her first UFC win when she takes on Molly McCann.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Ariane Lipski was on a nine-fight winning streak when she signed with the UFC. “The Violence Queen”, a betting favorite against Joanne Calderwood at UFC Brooklyn, went back home with her first defeat in years after three rounds of action.

Yet, she chooses to see the glass half full.

“That was a learning experience for me,” Lipski told MMA Fighting. “I came out knowing I had done everything I could do at that time. I had a lot of difficulties in my camp, I wasn’t in my best shape, but I knew that I could still win the fight. The victory didn’t come, unfortunately, but my coach was happy with my performance — and his opinion is what matters the most to me.”

Lipski had been inactive for almost a year before her promotional debut, battling back and shoulder injuries after defending her KSW flyweight championship. About two weeks before making her first walk to the UFC cage, a knee injury forced her to avoid any grappling training ahead of her bout with Calderwood, one of the things she knew Calderwood would explore in the fight.

Despite leaving the eight-sided cage with a loss, Lipski feels she did enough to impress both UFC brass and fans.

“I had no idea I would have so much media when I came to the UFC,” said Lipski, explaining how the hype around her added extra pressure before UFC Brooklyn. “I was fighting on the first card on ESPN, I was the favorite against an experienced athlete, and I wasn’t in my best conditions, so everything combined affected me. I was calm all week and didn’t expect it to become a problem, but I got a bit nervous when I walked out to the cage.”

“After the fight, Dana White came to talk to us and said that I was undefeated for a long time and they gave me a tough fight to test me, and I didn’t let him down,” she continued. “I fought an experienced opponent and gave her a fight. I see how much I’ve evolved and grown now, I know what I’m capable of inside the cage. I did that even though I wasn’t in my best conditions, so I know I’ll do even more now that I’m in great shape.”

“The Violence Queen” spent some time in the United States after the bout, training at the UFC’s Performance Institute and working on her wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills at Henry Cejudo’s gym before flying back to Brazil.

Lipski returns to action Saturday night, taking on Molly McCann at UFC Greenville. It’s a battle between flyweights that once ruled European circuit, with the former KSW superstar taking on a former Cage Warriors titleholder, but Lipski feels they are on different levels.

“Our career paths are very different,” Lipski said. “I’ve faced tougher fighters, more experienced athletes than she did. She was champion in a smaller promotion. She had her moment, but now I’m going after mine.”

“I believe I’m more complete than Molly,” she added. “Molly is a tough athlete, we’re similar in a sense that we both like to stand and brawl and fight with our hearts, but, technically speaking, I have more power to end the fight. She wins by decisions, I have more knockouts or submissions, and that alone shows how different we are.”

The 25-year-old Brazilian finished eight of her 11 MMA wins before signing with the UFC, while “Meatball” stopped opponents in half of her eight victories. After losing via submission to Gillian Robertson in her Octagon debut, McCann beat Priscila Cachoeira via decision at UFC London.

“I’m not underestimating her,” Lipski said. “She’s a tough athlete, it’s always 50-50 in MMA, but I see myself beating her by knockout. That’s what I’m going for. It will happen naturally. But if I don’t knock her out, I can submit her or even win by decision. I’m ready for everything.”