London, England — Molly McCann and Paddy Pimblett are so inseparable a pair, they’ve even taken to doing their post-fight interviews together.
McCann (13-4) and Pimblett (19-3) stole the show at UFC London on Saturday. McCann again used a spinning back elbow to dazzle the crowd, finishing Hannah Goldy; Pimblett pulled off a slick submission, putting away Jordan Levitt.
Admitting that July’s encore wasn’t quite the same as her original finish in March, McCann told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight that “It ain’t the same because I’ve done it before, but what I can tell you is, I have a lot more faith in myself. I believed in myself more, I believe it’s my time to be where I’m supposed to be, I believe I’ve learned all the lessons that I’ve supposed to have learned.”
McCann, for a change, actually had a name in mind for her next fight: Antonina Shevchenko.
“I never call anyone out, that’s not fair for me to do,” McCann explained. “But when you talk about legacy, prestige, honor, who’s the best in the game? It’s Valentina. Am I Valentina-ready yet? No. Am I Antonina-ready? Let’s see. I believe I am. This isn’t like a diss, this isn’t like ‘I think I’m going to eff you everywhere.’ No it’s not, but I genuinely think this is an amazing fight to have.”
McCann knows fighting Antonina means giving her sister a blueprint to beat her, but believes fighting Antonina would also give her a blueprint for the champ. “So with the greatest respect, I said her name because I think she is the best. So I would like you to tell her that. I believe she is the best, that’s why I’m trying to challenge her, for that.”
Asked about fighting elsewhere, outside of the U.K., McCann exclaimed “I want to go everywhere!” But, she added, “I will tell you this: we’re a package deal, aren’t we lad?” That earned agreement and a fist-bump from Pimblett.
Pimblett, having finished chowing down on a donair, was critical of his performance, but opened up about the difficulties he experienced ahead of the fight, from the death of a young, terminally ill child he’d befriended, to the loss of a friend to suicide on weigh-in day.
Just as he did in his post-fight interview in the octagon, Pimblett encouraged men struggling with their mental health to seek help. “I’d much rather my friend come to me and speak to me and cry on my shoulder, then me have to cry when I’m carrying his coffin a week later. Split second decisions ruin lives, and that’s what happened this week. I just don’t know how his mom and his sister are getting through this, lad. Because as I say he was my friend, but he wasn’t my son or my brother. And it’s going to effect them a lot more than it effects me.”
“Anyone who’s in a position like me, you should try and help someone, whether it’s Joe on the street whether it’s your mate. You should, you should try and help,” Pimblett continued. “We should have to give back. Because without all those fans, people that adore us, we wouldn’t be getting paid what we’re getting paid, we wouldn’t have the following that we have. So I just like giving back.”
That means considering launching a men’s mental health charity, in addition to a previously announced children’s charity. “Because the U.K, doesn’t give any funding for it. There’s no funding for men’s mental health, and it’s the biggest killer for men between like 21 and 45. And no one talks about it. No one even mentions it, lad. Men just kill themselves, and no one cares. We need to change it.”
Watch the full UFC London post-fight press conference appearance by Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann above.