A much beloved Cage Warriors alumna will feature prominently on Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night: Dolidze vs. Imavov card, live from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas Nevada.

‘Meatball’ Molly McCann, a former CW women’s flyweight champion, will compete in the evening’s featured prelim, when she faces old rival Diana Belbiţă in a rematch of their October 2019 clash, which saw the Brit’s hand raised after three rounds.

The bout marks the start of a new challenge for McCann, who competes as a strawweight (115lbs) for the first time since a 2014 amateur contest.

‘Meatball Molly’ has a significant history with Europe’s Leading MMA Organisation, having first strapped on the famous yellow gloves as an amateur back in May 2014, at CW 68.

Returning as a professional in 2017, McCann racked up decision victories over Invicta veteran Lacey Schuckman and Brazilian submission specialist Priscila de Souza.

The run earned the Liverpool native a title opportunity in her home town, main eventing at the iconic ‘Echo’ (now M&S Bank) Arena.

Molly McCann lifts the gold in Liverpool

McCann lifted the gold after an emphatic first round stoppage of Bryony Tyrell, and was subsequently drafted into the UFC.

The life-long Everton fan has competed in the world leading promotion ever since, a rollercoaster journey that is rapidly approaching six years.

From heartbreak in her debut loss to Gillian Robertson to a hard-fought victory over Priscila Cachoeira at London’s O2, to scoring spectacular back-to-back spinning KOs against Luana Carolina and Hannah Goldy, there’s yet to be a dull moment in McCann’s UFC career.

On Saturday night, she’ll be the first Cage Warriors champion to enter the world famous Octagon in 2024 (Arnold Allen pipped her to it as the first CW Alumni of the year at UFC 297), leading the way for the likes of Ian Garry, Rhys McKee and Caolan Loughran, who will all see action in the coming months, alongside CW favourite Oban Elliott.

With the Cage Warriors 2024 World Tour set to commence on February 23rd in San Diego, before hitting Manchester, London, Dublin, Glasgow and Newcastle in the coming months, it likely won’t be long before more CW champions go through The Draft of MMA to fulfil their UFC dream.