Driven Molly McCann Shines at UFC Vegas 85, Submitting Diana Belbiţă

Molly McCann and Diana Belbita, UFC Vegas 85
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 03: (L-R) Molly McCann of England punches Diana Belbita of Romania in a strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 03, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A rematch between “Meatball” Molly McCann and Diana Belbita at UFC Vegas 85 doubled as McCann’s strawweight debut, while also serving as the featured preliminary card bout on the Fight Night card.

Both fighters were coming off losses, with McCann having dropped fights to Julija Stoliarenko and Erin Blanchfield.

Right out of the gate, McCann landed a very meatball-like right hand that landed heavy, though Belbita didn’t seem to miss more than a step. McCann clearly had the power edge however, while Belbita mixed kicks into her combos as the pair got to work. Rather surprisingly, two minutes in, McCann landed a quick double-leg takedown, though the pair got right back up— where Molly fired a spinning back kick.

In a clinch alongside the cage, McCann landed a spinning back elbow, a move that had served her well in her career. Belbita continued to fight on, pressing forward even as she ate another one of those spinning elbows. Belbita meanwhile went to the body and kept touching McCann’s legs with kicks, though her shots had far less on them. Things opened up in the final minute, with Belbita ducking a punch and connecting, only to be scooped up and planed on the mat minutes later with McCann in mount.

Belbita, on bottom, looked like she might escape the round— but McCann locked up an arm-bar just ahead of the buzzer and got the tap!

“You don’t change the goal, you change the plan,” McCann exclaimed after mentioning her plan had been to be champ at 125lbs. The goal is clearly the same in her new home at strawweight.

Official Result: Molly McCann def. Diana Belbita by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 4:59