UFC Vegas 36 is set for Saturday, September 4th, where Women’s Flyweight contenders Molly “Meatball” McCann will take on “Fire Fist” Ji Yeon Kim on the final fight of the prelims. The main card begins at 5 pm ET/9 pm GMT.
Molly McCann vs Ji Yeon Kim: Meet the fighters
Molly McCann (10-4, 3-3 in UFC) is a multi-sport athlete. She started her fighting career in Amateur Boxing, going 17-0 and winning the UK ABA Championship in 2009. McCann then made the transition to MMA in 2013, where she made her amateur debut with a victory via unanimous decision. The Scouser went 3-0 before making the step to professional MMA, winning in her debut in the Shock n’ Awe promotion by TKO in the first round. She went on to win the Shock n’ Awe Flyweight Championship in 2016 and the Cage Fury Flyweight Championship in 2018. McCann went 7-1 before entering the UFC.
Since entering the organization, “Meatball” McCann’s performances in the octagon have fluctuated. She lost her debut fight against Gillian Robertson via submission in round 2 but embarked on a three-fight win streak. Unfortunately, COVID-19 slowed down her momentum. McCann lost her last two fights, making her 3-3 in the UFC. With this upcoming bout being the last fight on her current contract, you can expect McCann to be prepared to leave it all in the cage on Saturday night.
Ji Yeon Kim (9-3-2, 3-3 in UFC) entered the UFC with a 6-0-2 record and is one of the brightest talents to come out of South Korea. Like McCann, Ji has also held titles in two promotions before joining the UFC, winning the Women’s Bantamweight championship in Jewels and Gladiator. Ji suffered her first career loss in her UFC debut vs Lucie Pudilova via unanimous decision. However, the loss didn’t phase her as she won her next two fights, both via split decision. Since then, she has struggled to string together consecutive wins. She will definitely be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend.
The Path To Victory
Molly “Meatball” McCann has done a phenomenal job to round out her skill set by putting a lot of hard work and dedication into her grappling, currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In recent fights, McCann has spoken about aiming to get submission wins for her head coach and has focused on her grappling so much since entering the UFC, which could have played a part in her losses. What she needs to do is go back to that brawler mindset that worked so well early on in her career, but with the confidence that she is well-rounded enough to be victorious wherever the fight may end up. Applying constant pressure, not allowing Ji to stay on the outside, and controlling where the fight goes will be crucial. With this being the final fight on her contract, and potentially her career being on the line, you can expect everything to be left in the cage on Saturday.
The path to victory for Ji Yeon Kim will be utilizing her massive reach advantage. Ji has a 72” reach, a whole 10” longer than McCann. Using her Kickboxing background to dictate the pace of the fight, using her reach to keep the fight at a favorable striking distance, and using her footwork to prevent grappling exchanges will be the best approach for Ji. If she is successful, it will be a good day at the office.
Final Prediction: Molly McCann via Split Decision
Both fighters are more than capable of finishing a fight. However, both fighters are 3-3 in the organization, and both coming off losses which makes one believe that both fighters will fight very carefully and tactically. With the card containing many British fighters, you can assume they will all be looking to feed off each other’s energy and take the opportunity to represent all the fans watching at home. The fights will begin airing on BT Sport in the early evening, so you can expect Molly McCann to have that extra motivation to get her hand raised.