LONDON – Leah McCourt is hoping a less stressful build-up will help her claim another win for her record at Bellator 267.
McCourt (5-1 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) takes on American Jessica Borga in the co-main event of Bellator 267, which takes place Friday, October 1 at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London. The main card streams live on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Speaking to reporters, including MMA Junkie, during media day ahead of the event, McCourt said that the smoother run-up to fight week will translate to her in-cage performance on fight night itself.
McCourt produced a gritty come-from-behind performance to claim a second-round triangle choke submission of Janay Harding at Bellator 259 in May after returning from shoulder surgery and a bout of long COVID.
“I think everything that could have gone wrong went wrong in that last camp,” she laughed. “Even the fight week and getting out there, I was flying out the week before and my corner team weren’t coming – I was going out there on my own. I had no team! But last-minute they were able to come.
“Definitely this camp has been a lot smoother, a lot more mat time, a lot more calm and consistent preparation, which I’m happy about and it’ll show in my performance.”
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McCourt faces Borga (3-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) on Friday night, and said the Florida native will provide a stern test. But “The Curse” suggested that their similar fighting styles will give her the advantage over “The Black Widow.”
“She’s a tough opponent. We’ve had the same amount of fights. Whether it’s in Bellator or not, she’s experienced,” McCourt explained. “Her record doesn’t necessarily reflect her ability in the cage because every fight is a tough fight and she’s beaten some good opponents, some good finishes, so she’s going to be a tough fight.
“Stylistically, she likes to put the fight against the cage and take it to the ground. That’s what I like to do. But I think she’ll realize quickly in those clinch positions that I will be one step ahead. That’s my game, that’s where I like to be, and I’m excited.”
With McCourt riding a five-fight winning streak, with three of her last four wins coming via finish, the 29-year-old said she’s enjoyed life under the Bellator spotlight. But she also said she’s buzzing to be the chief supporting bout before the main event rematch between Michael “Venom” Page and Douglas Lima.
“I think I’ve had a promotional push because I keep winning. I show up and I win. That’s down to my performances,” she said. “And yeah, it does feel like less pressure. But again, it is the co-main event of MVP and Lima and I’m so excited for that fight, never mind fighting on the same card five minutes before! That’s going to be an exciting night.”
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