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Diana Belbita's UFC Return: Rematch Against Molly McCann Rescues Warrior Princess from Retirement

Diana Belbita during the fight
Diana Belbita vs Molly McCann

Diana Belbita, the "Warrior Princess" of the UFC, had one foot out of the MMA world after a unanimous decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in October. Retirement plans were on the horizon, but a surprising twist halted the exit strategy – a rematch offer against Molly McCann at UFC Fight Night 235.

In her initial UFC debut in October 2019, Belbita faced McCann in the women’s flyweight division and suffered a unanimous decision defeat. Now, the sequel is set for the strawweight division at the UFC Apex, providing Belbita with a chance to showcase her growth over the past four-plus years.

After contemplating retirement, Belbita received a call offering a rematch with McCann, and it was a game-changer. Speaking at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 235 media day, Belbita shared her perspective on the unexpected turn of events.

“I have to admit that, after I fought Karolina, I considered myself being done fighting, stepping down and that’s it,” Belbita said. “But this rematch with Molly McCann, it’s what took me back. When UFC texted me and I saw that it’s Molly McCann’s name on that, I was like, ‘Hell yeah. I have to do it again.’”

Belbita recognizes the growth in both herself and McCann since their first encounter. Despite acknowledging the improvement in her opponent, Belbita is determined to prove herself in this rematch and assess her current standing in the sport.

While expressing uncertainty about her future in MMA beyond this fight, Belbita emphasized the importance of listening to her instincts. Whether she emerges victorious or faces defeat, the outcome of this rematch at UFC Fight Night 235 may very well shape the final chapter of Diana Belbita's remarkable journey in the octagon.

“I’m not going to force myself to do something if I don’t feel like doing it,” Belbita said. “Don’t be surprised if I’m going to win and still be like, ‘I don’t feel like doing it.’ I have so many options in life. I can do so many things. I’m not going to be stuck in something if I’m not in it 100 percent.”


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