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Leah McCourt promises finish in Bellator London co-main event

McCourt is back in action for the second time this year at the SSE Arena, Wembley after a stunning second round submission over Janay Harding at Bellator 259 in May

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Top featherweight contender Leah McCourt has declared that she will stop Jessica Borga in the co-main event of Bellator London next month.

The Northern Irish fighter will take on American Borga in the co-feature bout of the first MMA event with fans back in the SSE Arena, Wembley on October 1.

And after her stunning submission win over Janay Harding, McCourt has guaranteed another finish for the fans in attendance at her first UK fight since her debut in 2017.

Speaking with Mirror Fighting , McCourt said that she has recovered from a number of ailments that hindered her preparation for the Harding bout, and is putting in the camp of her life for Bellator 267.

“This is the first card back in the UK and Ireland since the pandemic,” McCourt explained. “And the last time we were supposed to come here it was cancelled.

Leah McCourt defeated Janay Harding in her latest outing


Bellator MMA/Lucas Noonan)

“I don’t think this fight will go three rounds, I don’t like to guess and make all these plans, but I don’t think it’s going to go three rounds.

“I had all these great plans for my last fight and look how that turned out!”

McCourt’s win over Harding was remarkable for the come-from-behind nature of her win, and the highlight-reel upkick she landed to set up her triangle submission.

And with a camp marred by restrictions, injury and a battle with ‘long covid’, the fight of her life was not against Harding, but personal circumstances.

“I was coming off shoulder surgery, so I could only really get back in the gym to do proper MMA training in January,” she said.

“Then I got covid and I was sick for about eight weeks and the effects lingered on through my camp.

“I could just feel complete exhaustion, I had no strength, I felt horrendous and I couldn’t get my fitness back on track.

“Then I popped my shoulder, the one I’d had surgery on and I had to get an injection, and then it was my knee which also needed an injection.”

As if the injuries and illnesses weren’t enough, McCourt was then hit by coronavirus travel restrictions that jeopardised the fight.

President Joe Biden’s administration have maintained a lengthy and bizarre ban on travellers from the European Union and the UK, which cost her members of her corner.

Even McCourt herself was unsure if she would make it to fight night, with the likes of SBG Ireland boss John Kavanagh unable to corner Peter Queally the week before.

“And my corner changed on fight week because of travel restrictions,” she continued. “I didn’t even know if I’d be able to make it over.

“And with the way restrictions were different in the South and North of Ireland, it was just very complicated.

“So whatever about anything else, my biggest fight was getting to the cage, and I prayed so much that the doors would open and things would happen.

“I was just so proud of myself being able to show up on fight night and get that win.”

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