England’s “Meatball” Molly McCann had a three-fight win streak snapped when she fell to Taila Santos at UFC Fight Island 1 back in July. To kick off 2021, she was looking to get back in the win column against Brazilian Lara Procopio. It was the sophomore outing for Procopio, who fell to Karol Rosa in 2019. After over a year out of action, Procopio was dropping back to flyweight, the division she had claimed the Shooto Brazil title in prior to joining the UFC.
McCann closed the distance to her opponent immediately off the opening bell, leading to an exchange. An active opening minute saw the pair tied up by the fence, and they would battle for position there for another minute or so. Procopio would finally plant McCann on her back, with the Brazilian moving to side control after they landed. McCann tried to scramble free, but Procopio stayed on her. By the end of the round, Procopio made it to mount, took the back, and finished with some ground ‘n pound.
Round two saw Molly McCann turn the tables on the ground, and come very, very close to an arm-bar finish. Procopio escaped the initial attempt, but McCann adjusted. Procopio managed to stack McCann up by the fence, but the Brazilian fighter finally broke free. That left “Meatball” spent and on her back with Procopio in half-guard. McCann would make her way up, but in the final minute was swept back down. She would throw up some elbows from bottom but wound eating a heavy punch from Procopio anyway.
Early in the third, it was McCann looking for the takedown. But Procopio reversed her against the fence. From that point onward, Procopio was in the driver’s seat. Takedowns and control were the name of the game. McCann could do just enough not to spend the whole round on her back. Instead, she spent most of it on her knees, with Procopio on her back. When the results came, there were no real surprises, other than a possible retirement by McCann, who left her gloves in the cage.
Official Result: Lara Procopio def. Molly McCann by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 39-27)