Leah McCourt knows she has the eyes of the MMA world focused in on Bellator 293.
McCourt will face former UFC title contender Cat Zingano in the co-main event. The bout takes place Friday night live on Showtime.
And even though she is miles from home, McCourt hopes to have support.
“I hope there’s some Irish in the crowd,” she said. “I’m really proud [to represent my country]. We’ve always had massive shows in Dublin. It’s nice to represent Belfast, where I grew up, on the other side of the ocean. I love representing Ireland; there’s so many great Irish fighters, so it’s nice to be a part of that as well.”
McCourt, ranked No. 4 in the division, also knows that win over a top contender like Zingano would push her in the right direction.
“I think the winner [of this fight] is going to fight for the title,” she said. “This was the most excited I’ve been for a matchup; I’ve always been a big fan of hers, and I think fighting her has brought out the best version of me… I know a win is going to get me a title shot, so massive opportunities come from that.
“I never take these opportunities for granted. I’ve done everything I can, and I’m ready for Friday night.”
“It’s amazing [to face a legend like Cat Zingano]. I was watching Cat before I was even fighting MMA. It’s quite unbelievable sometimes, but at the end of the day, it’s just another opponent. I’ve got to go in there and get the job done.”