10 years earlier, Molly McCann and Chris Fishgold were collaborating at a bar in Liverpool.
Now they are UFC fighters, set to star in among the biggest events in world sport at this moment.
In the early hours of Thursday, those “two little Scousers” will appear on the most recent Battle Island show having flown out to Abu Dhabi’s elegant Yas Island with their four-man corner group.
It’s a far cry from the Rubber Soul bar, backyards from the Cavern Club where the Beatles refined their craft.
” We’re working class heroes,” McCann informed BBC Sport. “We were simply kids working on Mathew Street. He was on the door, I was a shot lady.
” Now the Meatball and the Fishman are on Fight Island, getting to live this kind of high-end.
” This is such a momentous moment, having fights on an island in the middle of a pandemic, and it’s a mad piece of history for six working-class people from Liverpool.”
Having to train in ‘a jail cell’
This is the conclusion of a battle camp like no other for McCann, who was motivated to try mixed martial arts by Fishgold. Firstly, her fight in London on 21 March ended up being the first UFC occasion to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But with UFC president Dana White figured out to host occasions without any fans, McCann kept training on her own to make certain she was ready if hired.
The flyweight, 30, put a boxing bag in her back garden, where she trained two times a day. “I state garden – I live in a terraced home so it’s a backyard,” she said. “It’s like a jail cell.
” However that’s how I have actually come up, that’s how I discovered my trade. Mixed Martial Arts fighters understand how to adapt, it’s your task to overcome anything that’s thrown at you, and it’s times like these when you discover out who the genuine combined martial artists are.”
She also purchased a road bike, one day cycling 60 miles to the Welsh border and back. She then needed to start acclimatising for the heat of the Middle East after she and Fishgold, 28, got the call from the UFC.
” I was a good idea to remain on top of it because I knew Dana was going to state ‘Battle Island, here we go, you’re on’,” said McCann.
‘ This is the cost you pay to live your dream’
While Battle Island is high-end, the event is being run “like a military operation”. McCann and her group from Next Generation MMA have been tested a number of times for coronavirus and invested 48 hours in separate hotel rooms at Heathrow Airport prior to flying out last Wednesday.
After quarantining once again on arrival, they had time to delight in the attractions of Yas Island, where more than 2,500 UFC workers and island workers will be housed in a ‘Safe Zone’.
After flying out company class, the group are remaining in a luxury hotel and have actually relaxed by the swimming pool, played golf and been out on jet skis.
They have actually likewise been training together in the dark, to assist McCann and Fishgold’s body clocks change because they will be fighting early Thursday morning local time. Today they’ve had the weigh-ins, the team are back in quarantine till the battle.
To assist pass the time, they’ve been FaceTiming each other while McCann has checked out self-help books such as Tradition – on New Zealand’s all-conquering All Blacks – and composed in a thankfulness book every day.
” When you make weight you can normally go for a meal with your team and there’s a lot thankfulness at that table,” said McCann. “You’re lastly there due to the fact that the battle prior to the fight is making weight.
” I felt bad for a bit however then I believed ‘smart up Moll, this is the rate you need to pay to live your dream in this time, this brand-new normal’.
” I’m so grateful that I’m working for a business which is moving paradise and earth to make certain we get fights in.”
‘ To be placed on such a phase – I’ve in fact cried a few times’
Battle Island began on Saturday with Kamaru Usman beating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251. The second occasion sees McCann face Brazil’s Talia Santos in her 5th UFC battle.
Fishgold has his fourth on the very same card, a featherweight bout with American Jared Gordon, before Fight Island has another 2 shows on 18 and 25 July.
The latter features two more Liverpool fighters in action, with middleweight Darren Till headlining versus Australia’s Robert Whittaker, while featherweight Mike Grundy deals with Russia’s Movsar Evloev.
” Dana White’s picked fighters he knows he’ll get excellent fights out of, and to be picked to be among them, to be put on such a stage, there’s simply no words,” McCann included. “I’ve actually wept a couple of times in my hotel room thinking how fortunate I am to represent my city and my nation.
” We do not get to wear an England jersey or come out to God Save The Queen, but we’ll be going out with our St George’s flag. I seem like it’s when America put the stars and stripes on the moon!”
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