Leah McCourt: Bellator Dublin fight ‘a celebration of women’
Mixed martial arts fighter Leah McCourt states it’ll be a”party of women” when she becomes the first female to headline a Bellator Europe event in Dublin on Saturday.
McCourt’s bout with Germany’s Judith Ruis was encouraged to the top of the card when James Gallagher’s fight against Cal Ellenor was called off.
The Belfast featherweight, 27, has won three of her four professional fights.
“This is most likely the biggest moment of my career,” she advised Sport.
“I’m thrilled Bellator have given me this chance – it’s a party of women and it’s a fun time for me and my family.”
US-based Bellator is seen in the market following UFC.
McCourt, who is on a three-fight winning streak, being a mum to girl Isabella and divides her time between MMA responsibilities.
“I have to sacrifice a great deal of time,” she said. “It is challenging but Isabella comes with a great family and she understands it is for her that I am doing so.”
McCourt talked us through a typical day while training to confront against Ruis, who’s won six and lost four of her 10 pro fights:
Isabella will be at the show in Dublin of Saturday – the first time she’s watched her mom fight.
“She is so particular,” said McCourt. “Anybody who meets her falls in love with her she’s my life companion.
“It is the first battle Isabella’s been at so that is exciting for me and her.”
McCourt, whose nickname is’The Curse’, stems out of a background in judo and contains world names in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the MMA.
And she explained headlining Bellator Dublin are an emotional occasion.
“It is surreal,” she added. “I am ready to rise to the occasion. This is going to be a functionality that is main-event and I am all set to make history.
“Life has never been easy but I’ve worked as I was really young to get this opportunity.
“I was an amateur world champion so my aim is to be a professional world champion as well, and just keep climbing up the rankings with Bellator.”