Molly McCann gives Israel Adesanya Everton shirt signed by Alex Iwobi as she receives message from Wayne Rooney ahead of UFC 281


UFC flyweight contender Molly McCann has travelled with gifts ahead of her latest fight at Madison Square Garden in New York. ‘Meatball’ is set for a serious step up in competition on Saturday night when she takes on Erin Blanchfield on the undercard of Israel Adesanya’s latest title defence at UFC 281. Israel Adesanya and Molly McCann will feature at UFC 281UFC ‘The Last Stylebender’ is looking to avenge two losses he suffered in kickboxing to Alex Pereira who famously knocked him out so badly in 2017 he needed oxygen. Five years later, Adesanya is the undisputed 185lb king and one of the biggest names in MMA after amassing an impressive 20 wins during his 21-fight pro career. Pereira only left kickboxing behind for good in 2020 but has already earned himself a middleweight title shot after stretching his record to 6-1 with a first-round knockout win over Sean Strickland at UFC 276. Ahead of the most highly anticipated fight of his life, Adesanya received a thoughtful gift from McCann who is a massive Everton fan intent on converting as many of her UFC colleagues as possible. In a video posted to her Instagram page, the Scouse MMA fighter can be seen handing over a signed Everton top to Adesanya and explaining it is signed by his fellow Nigerian Alex Iwobi. McCann said: “I got you Alex Iwobi. So, he’s from your Nigerian soccer team and I got him to sign you that… I just thought a brother from where I am from supporting you.” ‘Stylebender’ will put his 185lb title on the line this weekendGetty And he was buzzing to receive support from a fellow Nigerian in Alex Iwobi@meatballmolly - instagram Most read in Football D DAY England stars to find out if they make plane to Qatar as Southgate set for big calls le team Varane included in World Cup squad with France taking 25 players with lethal attack close Southampton announce Nathan Jones as new boss, with first game away at Liverpool foul 'I s*** on your prostitute mother' - Pique sent off in last act as a footballer AMBITIOUS UFC superstar Conor McGregor wants to buy Liverpool - but is he rich enough? CUP CLASH Liverpool 0-0 Derby (3-2) LIVE REACTION: Reds go through on penalties at Anfield The 32-year-old also explained Everton’s mantra, Nil satis nisi optimum, means nothing but the best is good enough to Adesanya, who was delighted with the gift even though he’s not a football fan. The two UFC stars embraced before going their separate ways and continuing to prepare to put on a show at the MMA leader’s latest pay-per-view event. After back-to-back knockout wins, McCann has been matched against the highly regarded Blanchfield who boasts a 9-1 record at just 23 years old. Ahead of one of her toughest fights to date, the former Subway sandwich artist has received a message of support from Everton and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney “I just want to wish you good luck for your fight on Saturday. I’m gutted I can’t be there, I really enjoyed it last time. I know you’re going to do it, go and get the win,” Rooney said via Sky Sports. McCann was delighted to receive a message from one of her ‘sporting heroes’ who is backing her at UFC 281, as is every Everton fan after seeing what she gave Adesanya. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Molly McCann-Pearson (@meatballmolly)