Back and better than ever, Leah McCourt is ready to get back in the ring for the first time since a big loss to Sinead Kavanagh in February early this year. Back in 2020, the Leah McCourt beacme the first woman to headline a Bellator Europe card as she defeated Germany’s Judith Ruiz at Bellator Dublin, in front of an adoring crowd in the 3Arena. Now she makes her return.
Earlier in February, in what was considered “the biggest Irish fight of all time”, McCourt was defeated by Kavanagh by unanimous decision after in an intense three rounds in the cage. This defeat was only 16 days after she tested positive for Covid-19, which put a lot more pressure on the fight.
“I was sick for days; I couldn't breathe for long stretches. I pushed my body to the extreme limits. I left everything I had in there.” She doesn’t want to take away the victory from Kavanagh, but McCourt felt like she was not 100% physically there during her recovery from quarantine.
McCourt’s loss to Kavanagh was only her second loss after a six-fight winning streak.
She was planning on travelling to Liverpool before the fight to train; however, with Covid-19 restrictions, it was virtually impossible. This time, she has been able to train as she had planned. McCourt has been training in Liverpool with coach Paul Rimmer alongside UFC’s Molly McCann. McCourt is very thankful to her coach who has made her enjoy fighting again. With all the pressures of juggling her responsibilities and her daughter, Isabella, McCourt was reminded her to take a step back and enjoy what she loves doing the most- fighting.
Training with UFC's Molly McCann has been an inspiration to the Irish fighter. McCann rebuilt herself in the UFC to go on a three-fight winning streak after some of her tough opening losses. She helped McCourt realize that everyone’s fighting career has setbacks and that it is important to build that onto your performance. The two are best friends and even on their bad days encourage each other to get out of bed in the morning and train their hardest in the gym. McCann will be in McCourt’s corner tonight, cheering her on every step of the way.
In tonight’s fight, women’s featherweight Leah McCourt (6-2) will face Brazil’s Dayana Silvia (10-7). Silvia lost her first two fights under the Bellator banner, but she proved herself this past April when she won a unanimous decision against Janay Harding. Silvia is ranked at #9 in Bellator’s women’s 145-pound division, while McCourt is at #5. McCourt still knows that this fight will be a tough one and a “good test for me”
McCourt would love to win this fight and set up a mouth-watering rematch between herself and Kavanagh again in February. She seems ready to go and all her fans are excited to see her back in action.
Tonight at 9pm for the main card, Bellator will be playing on Virgin Media Three. Tune in to see these vicious fighters battle it out in the ring on the Dubin shores once again.