The Brits are coming! Molly ‘Meatball’ McCann leads Fight Island charge

Five British fighters are set to compete at the next UFC event from Fight Island. Watch the latest crop of homegrown talent – and a superb main event between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige – exclusively live on BT Sport.

By Tim Williams Published: 4 September 2020 - 3.11pm

Molly ‘Meatball’ McCann is looking for a fourth consecutive win when she takes on Talia Santos

UFC Fight Island concludes in spectacular style when Darren Till takes on former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

Fight fans don’t need to wait until Saturday 25 July to watch Britain’s best, though. There are five fighters from these shores returning to the Octagon on the Calvin Kattar v Dan Ige undercard on Wednesday 15 July.

The British invasion of Fight Island takes place on Wednesday night on BT Sport 2HD, with every single UFC card from Fight Island and beyond live and exclusive on BT Sport.

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Molly ‘Meatball’ McCann headlines the British charge against Brazilian Talia Santos, who is bidding to claim her maiden UFC victory after suffering her first career defeat on her debut against Mara Romero Borella.

Liverpool’s McCann also suffered a debut loss in her UFC bow in 2018, but she has bounced back in superb fashion with three successive unanimous decision victories over Priscilla Cachoeira, Ariane Lipski and Diana Belbita.

She became the first Englishwoman to get her hand raised in the Octagon in London on the Darren Till v Jorge Masvidal undercard and has gone from strength to strength since her debut defeat.

McCann, who is currently ranked No. 15 in the flyweight division, would shoot up the ladder in the wide-open 125-pound division with a fourth-straight win.

Speaking to BT Sport’s Adam Catterall, she said: “It’s going to be hard to not be in awe of the island and everything that comes with it but I know what my job is.

“I’m not chasing [a knockout]. I’ve heard rumours of where I am on the card and if I am where I think I am, I’m getting that finish!”

Still on the hunt for her first finish, McCann is primed to move to the next stage of her career in 2020. A win over Santos in her toughest assignment yet and she’ll be in line for the division’s biggest names.

Another of Liverpool’s finest is in action on Fight Island. Renowned grappler Chris Fishgold takes on America’s Jared Gordon in the featherweight division.

Fishgold has a 1-0-2 record in the UFC after suffering losses to Wednesday’s headliner Kattar and Makwan Amirkhani. His only win in the promotion came against Daniel Teymur in February 2019.

His opponent Gordon is also looking to rebuild after losing three of his last four bouts, most recently succumbing to a first-round KO against Charles Oliveira in November.

Former Cage Warriors lightweight champ Fishgold is searching for a bounce-back win on Fight Island before targeting top 15 contenders before the end of the year.

In another featherweight bout featuring a British prospect, England’s Lerone ‘The Miracle’ Murphy faces Brazil’s Ricardo Ramos.

Murphy (8-0-1) was expected to take on Gabriel Benitez in March but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now ‘The Miracle’, who was shot in the face twice outside a barber shop in Manchester in 2013, turns his attention to Ramos whohas  secured back-to-back victories over Journey Newson and Luiz Eduardo Garagorri.

Another prodigious young talent, Murphy is targeting a first win to kick-start his career and cement his status as one of Britain’s next MMA stars at Fight Island.

Welshmen Jack Shore and John Phillips complete the British contingent on the card.

Shore, from Abertillery in Monmouthshire, will face Aaron Phillips after Anderson dos Santos withdrew after testing positive for coronavirus.

After an impressive debut in September against Nohelin Hernandez, UFC President Dana White called the unbeaten bantamweight “the hottest prospect in the UK”.

Jack ‘Tank’ Shore’s rise has been meteoric and the former Cage Warriors champion is looking to preserve his perfect record against Phillips who will make his return to the promotion after six years.

Middleweight Phillips takes on Khamzat Chimaev after original opponent Dusko Todorovic withdrew due to a potential medical issue.

The 35-year-old from Swansea endured a torrid start to life in the UFC, losing his first three fights against Charles Byrd, Kevin Holland and Jack Marshman, but did record a first win in September - pummelling Alen Amedovski to earn a first-round KO and the Performance of the Night award in Copenhagen, Denmark.

More of the same from Phillips against newcomer Chimaev and the Welsh veteran, and former BAMMA middleweight champion, will banish the painful memories of his formative years in the UFC and target more recognised opponents.

Fight Island continues in some style and you can watch Britain’s best exclusively live on BT Sport. If you’re not yet a subscriber, sign up for a contract-free monthly pass here.