In a surprising turn of events during UFC London’s co-main event Molly McCann suffered a brutal first-round defeat at the hands of Julija Stoliarenko.
Within two minutes of the match, McCann was forced to submit when her Lithuanian opponent put her in an armbar in front of a crowded O2 Arena.
Despite her impressive abiliiesy, McCann hardly had the chance to showcase her skills during the bout. At the beginning of the bout, there were some promising exchanges on the feet and McCann appeared to be finding luck. However, Stoliarenko decided to change levels and initiated a takedown that caught McCann off guard.
Stoliarenko’s takedown proved successful, putting McCann in a world of trouble once the match reached the ground. Although McCann initially seemed close to escaping the submission attempt, her efforts were in vain as she found herself in a compromising position.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 22, 2023
With no way out, she swiftly tapped. McCann looked visibly distressed on the floor, while Stoliarenko celebrated her victory in the octagon.
This defeat marks the second time in a row that McCann has suffered a first-round submission loss. She was previously defeated by Erin Blanchfield in November last year.
Since her emphatic KO victory over Hannah Goldy in July last year, she has been unable to secure a win in any of her UFC bouts.
With back-to-back defeats, McCann’s professional record now stands at 13-6. This leaves leaving her in a difficult position within the highly competitive UFC flyweight division. It is evident that she will need to reassess her approach and make significant improvements if she aims to climb the ranks once again.
Prior to McCann’s disappointing loss, two other British competitors Nathaniel Wood and Paul Craig delivered stellar performances. They secured crucial victories for themselves.
Competing in the featherweight category, Nathaniel Wood achieved a unanimous decision win over Andre Fili. His calculated approach and skillful execution earned him a well-deserved victory, further establishing his presence in the division.
Paul Craig made a bold decision to move down to the middleweight division, and it paid off handsomely for him. Winning his match via TKO, Craig made a significant impact in his new weight class.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”zxx” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://t.co/fVE6xfbyNx”>pic.twitter.com/fVE6xfbyNx</a></p>— Jack (@_JGIBBZ) <a href=”https://twitter.com/_JGIBBZ/status/1682869222353805312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 22, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Unfortunately, McCann’s compatriots Jai Herbert and Davey Grant did not share the same success on the UFC London main card.
In the card’s main event, heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall put on an impressive display of skills. Aspinall’s powerful performance resulted in a brutal first-round KO, solidifying his position as a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division.