Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
The English flyweight contender scored one of the year’s best knockouts this past Saturday when she flattened Luana Carolina with a spinning back elbow, sending The 02 into a frenzy. It was arguably the biggest finish in an evening full of memorable moments and McCann agrees that it’s near the top as far as lifetime milestones go.
“My mom and my dad’s wedding, that’s up there, and that moment for me,” McCann said on The MMA Hour. “I was saying to the media team and everyone, ‘I may never get that again.’ I might never get a knockout like that again, I don’t think. Women or men don’t really get them.
“I don’t even, I can’t even now, I’m floating, I’m so at peace because this is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I’ve had battles with my own mind and I’ve battled against them and everyone could just see how calm I was last week and it was just time. It was just my time.”
McCann, who hails from Liverpool, knew she’d be one of the favorites of the London crowd and her anticipation for the fight only grew as she made the walk to the octagon and spied famous faces like former heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn in the crowd.
The moment was not too big for McCann as it turned out and she put on one of her most complete performances against Carolina, mixing in takedowns and showing a deep gas tank throughout.
It wasn’t until she scored her unbelievable knockout that McCann momentarily lost herself.
“Did you see my face?,” McCann said. “I went ‘whooooooaaaaah.’ It’s something that when you chase a submission or you chase a finish, they don’t come. When you’re loose and you’re sharp, they come. And when I’m not tense. I’ve only knocked one person down I think in the UFC and that was Ariane Lipski, but when I done that it was like a sharp backhand and I didn’t load up. That elbow, I just looked to the side and I just gave a glance up and I thought, ‘Is it on? Is it on,’ just keep going, look, go, boom. There was no pause or tense it was just go.
“I didn’t put power into it, it was just 100 percent commit to it and I’m never, ever gonna stop thinking about that moment where the referee had to push me out of the way. I wasn’t gonna go back in because I could see she was out but you pray for them moments. Like, a Mark Hunt step-over. You pray for them and what really blew me away was when [UFC President Dana White] said, ‘I don’t think you’ll ever see a better knockout from a female ever again.’ That doesn’t happen. Those kinds of finishes don’t happen. But I think I just that much out of her gas tank with the body shots, the non-stop pressure, the pressure of the occasion, I think she will be mentally trained before getting in there because listen, every single person was screaming for me when I got in there. It must have been really intimidating.”
According to the UFC, it was the first-ever spinning elbow knockout by a female fighter. That added to what was already a historical night for McCann as she was the first Englishwoman to compete on a UFC main card in London.
All those factors added up to a classic clip that is sure to be replayed countless times in the future. At the very least, McCann is optimistic that she is a front-runner to win the 2022 Knockout of the Year.
“It’s about damn time,” McCann said. “I’ve been committed to the game. I feel as if MMA, that fight, that night gave me back everything that I’ve put into it and in one second it possibly changed my life forever.”