Molly McCann will draw inspiration from Amanda Nunes when she takes on Ji Yeon Kim in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McCann and Nunes, who is the UFC bantamweight champion, have kept in touch on social media ever since McCann cruised past Priscila Cachoeira in March 2019.
“After the UFC London fight, she gave me a bit of a shoutout,” she told GIVEMESPORT.
“She always watches my fights, and every time she fights, I always message her baby momma, Nina, and I’m just like, ‘Hope the cut is going well’, and obviously we’re both advocates of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Her fighting style is something that I watch a lot of and take a lot of things from and her mindset as well is almost exactly the same as mine.
“She’s overcome so much in her career from being hated for the fight with Cat Zingano, and then she was hated against Ronda Rousey, and then just absolutely shut the world up and made them realise who she was, so I take a lot from her.”
The 31-year-old from Liverpool admits there are certain comparisons that can be made between herself and Nunes, with both fighters having experienced losses at almost the same stage in their careers.
“Do you know what mate, that’s a really good question, and the reason being is she didn’t get finished until her second fight in the UFC,” she added.
“Now, I got finished in my second fight in the UFC, and from that moment, some of us have to learn on the job.
“I only had a few amateur fights, and then I won a world title inside seven, and then I was put on the biggest stage, so within 10 minutes, 10 fights, I was fighting the world’s best.
“So I had a lot of growing to do, like, on the floor and on the job. And after my last fight my manager Graham rang me up, he said, ‘This is the heartbreak business, you’ve got the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but you know now’.
“I know it’s a saying that gets said all the time, I know it’s a cliché, but you win or you learn, and I’ve learned my lessons now.
“I’d be very anxious on a fight week normally, and I’d be very like edgy and nervy, but this time It’s not like that.
“Don’t get me wrong, when I’m on my own and I’m in my bedroom, my legs are shaking for a little bit and I’m apprehensive because I’m going into a fight and it’s probably going to hurt, but the mind feels very much like when I won at UFC Liverpool on March 16, 2019.
“There’s just loads of similarities from that fight camp to this one and I’m just really excited to get in there.”
Kim dropped her debut to Lucie Pudilová but bounced back with back-to-back victories over Justine Kish and Melinda Fábián. She has alternated wins and losses in her last three fights.
McCann, who holds a record of 10 wins and four losses, also credits her mind coach with changing her perspective going into the clash.
“After the last fight mate I had it in my head, ‘I don’t know if I can ever fight for a title again,'” she explained.
“And then we had a lad called Matt Bonner in our gym, and he went on to win a world title.
“And now Matt Bonner, his record was not the best, but he just showed persistence, commitment and resilience in our gym, and when he won the world title I thought to myself, it can be done.
“And then I got a new mind coach and he was just like, ‘You need to change your mindset from just being the people’s champ to being a world champion again’.
“So I’ve spent a lot of time developing the mindset I had after those three losses.
“And I feel very confident in the fact that when I went on Saturday, it would be four wins in the UFC and that’s a lot more than some of the people in the top 15.
“I’m not bothered about rankings, I’m not bothered about how long it takes me, the goal remains the same.
“I wouldn’t be fighting if I didn’t think I could win a world title, I would go to boxing or I would just do ju-jitsu, I would not be fighting if I didn’t think I could be champion of the world again.”
Catch UFC FIGHT NIGHT ®: BRUNSON vs. TILL at Prime Time on Saturday night with the main card live from 9.00pm on BT Sport 2, with the early prelims live exclusively on Fight Pass from 6.30pm.