For the first time in nearly ten years, the UFC will be holding a divisional tournament. And with that comes another first, as the organization is introducing a new division with the flyweights (125 pounds) now a part of the company.
With UFC on FX 2 this Saturday, an additional first is likely to take place, as this will likely be the first time many viewers have ever seen Ian McCall. The man they call “Uncle Creepy” will make his UFC debut against Demetrious Johnson this Saturday at the event in Sydney, Australia.
For McCall, it has been quite a long journey. A veteran of mixed martial arts for nearly ten years, McCall made his MMA debut in August 2002. With three fights in the WEC to his name, including a matchup with current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, he has slowly worked his way up the rankings throughout the years. After losing to Cruz at WEC 38 in January 2009, McCall dropped from bantamweight to flyweight, and thus changed the outline of his career.
From there, McCall went on to defeat the #1 ranked flyweight Jussier Da Silva in February of last year. He then defeated Darrell Montague to earn the Tachi Palace Fights flyweight championship. Now one year after his first big win at flyweight, he finds himself in the UFC, which is something he still finds surreal.
“Being in the UFC is a dream come true,” McCall said to MMAFrenzy.com “It is every person in MMA’s dream to be in the UFC. I wanted to be here so bad that I was considering a move back up to 135 pounds just to have a chance to be in the UFC.”
Luckily for McCall, he never had to make that move, as late last year, he received a call from UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby concerning a possible move to the UFC- at flyweight.
“Sean Shelby tweeted me and asked for my phone number,” McCall explained. “I actually got hurt a few days before my scheduled Tachi Palace Fights championship fight (McCall was set to take on Jose Rave on December 2nd). I separated my ribs and had to pull out of my fight. But then Shelby tweeted me and I talked with him. He told me they were wanting to start the flyweight division pretty soon and that they wanted me to join it. He said to me ‘don’t tell anybody’, but of course I told my wife.”
Now McCall is set to take on former bantamweight title contender Demetrious Johnson. Johnson, like McCall, has a loss to champion Dominick Cruz on his record. For McCall, “Mighty Mouse” will present quite a challenge, but he has confidence he is better than Johnson, both inside and outside of the cage.
“I’ve never fought anyone of Johnson’s caliber,” said McCall. “[Jussier] Da Silva was the closest, so this is a great way to test myself. But I was the #1 ranked guy for a reason, and this tournament will be awesome to be a part of.”
“The flyweight division has plenty of strong guys at 125 pounds, plenty of entertaining guys that will help sell the division. But Demetrious..I don’t want to be rude, but Demetrious has the personality of a block of wood.”
That tournament that McCall mentions, which starts on Saturday, is the 4-man flyweight tournament. McCall and Johnson make up one half of it, with former bantamweight contender Joseph Benavidez and Yasuhiro Urushitani making up the other half.
Regarding that side of the tournament, McCall remains just as confident, stating “Joe is going to finish Urushitani within three rounds. Joe’s a beast and he hits real hard. Trust me, I have been hit by him plenty of times. Urushitani is good, but Joe has fought a lot of tough guys and nearly beat all of them.”
For “Uncle Creepy”, who actually is called that by his friend’s son, the tournament brings a great blend of old school with the classic tournament format to mix in with the new school with the introduction of the new weight class.
“It is awesome to be fighting in a tournament,” said McCall. “Although, I am glad that it is not all in one night. Even though that would be pretty cool, it would definitely be too much.
“These are the four best guys in the world, so there is no better way to decide who really is best.”