“Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall – Ready for Another Fight with Johnson
By Christopher Jester
Coming off a critical scoring error that would have seen a fourth round against Demetrious Johnson, Ian McCall is looking to continue to prove that he’s the #1 Flyweight in the world by becoming a finalist in the first UFC Flyweight tournament. Sitting down with PunchDrunkGamer.com, McCall talks about where he views himself as far as ranking and what are some of the things that could be changed in MMA. He goes on to explain his stance on P.E.D’s in MMA, and what Flyweight fights he would be interested in. Check out the exclusive interview below:
PDG: Thank you for sitting down with me. Let’s get right into it. How was the transition from Tachi Palace Fights to the UFC?
McCall: It was cool. I mean it was exciting more or less. With everything from the money to the press, to the media or whatever you want to call it. It was a fun transition.
PDG: What is your training schedule like on a normal basis?
McCall: Training is training hard… I mean, I wake up three days a week doing strength and conditioning. Then right after that Monday/Friday, I wrestle at The California Republic Academy of Wrestling. Other days I’m out either sparring in the morning or hitting pads with Team Oyama. I also spend a lot of time getting tied into knots by the jiu-jitsu team at Team Oyama.
PDG: What do you think Demetrious Johnson will bring into this second match-up that you have to be wary of?
McCall: Just the same thing he did last time: speed. You know he’s a fast guy and really it is the only thing that I am worried about.
PDG: You just came off one of the more controversial decisions in recent memory, mainly because of the commission, but what do you think judges have to do to fix this problem?
McCall: I think that MMA judges have to be knowledgeable. I’ve heard stories, I don’t know how true it is, but like people getting jobs in the commission or getting jobs as a judge because they are friends with the commissioner or someone who is in power. I mean it’s political so it makes sense. Politics are never that awesome of a deal and they all seem pretty screwed up. But I think if you’re going to be a ref you should at least have a hand full of mixed martial arts fights professionally because then you get a better understanding. You can’t judge a heavyweight fight the same way you judge a flyweight fight. You have to have the knowledge of what’s going or have years in the gym in order to call it.
PDG: For example, Ricardo Almedia recently became a judge. Do you think enlisting ex-fighters and trainers will help MMA judging?
McCall: Yep; very much so. He’s smart and of course, he’s going to favor the ground game but at the same time, I think they should set up a system where there is a jiu-jitsu favored judge. Where that guy is mostly a jiu-jitsu practitioner and then you bring in a kickboxing guy, and a boxing guy, or who have applications of all of it.
PDG: Would you think that individual states having their own MMA centered athletic commission would help judging and referees?
McCall: To a point, yeah. I think commissions in general are all going to make it better and I think they should be unified. I guess it makes it more difficult but I still think it is better.
PDG: In recent interviews you mentioned drug use in your past. What caused you to separate from using drugs?
McCall: Um, I died (laughs). I didn’t want to do drugs anymore. You know, I was over it. I never thought of the light at the end of the tunnel. I was just like “Eh, I don’t want to do this anymore.” I hate AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and stuff but I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. It is just that old saying they use.
PDG: Since we’re on the topic of drugs, how did they affect your performance when you were under the influence of them?
McCall: I mean, I could still fight. I did alright in the past (laughs) but obviously negatively, you know. It wasn’t so much the actual fight, it was the training and I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t training well enough and I wasn’t even training that hard.
PDG: How do you feel about the rise of performance enhancing drugs in MMA?
McCall: If someone wants to do steroids, let them do steroids. I don’t seem them giving you a tactical advantage. You want to do steroids, good for you; I am still going to punch you in the face. I really don’t give a shit, you know? I think there are certain cases where people need it. There is always going to be a gray area where people will abuse it. Maybe one day I’ll need it. I have low testosterone; after years of drug abuse. I have said it in plenty of interviews that I have low testosterone but I managed this far without it. So I’m doing just fine but maybe one day when I get older or maybe at the end of my career if I need it. But it’s the kind of thing that, I don’t really care.
McCall: I mean it’s not going to make you a better fighter.
PDG: The flyweight division flew under the radar for years, how do you think this division will stand now that it is a part of the UFC?
McCall: It’s still fresh. We’ve already shown what we can do and we’ve already shown that we can put on good shows. You know, we’re just different. That drop in weight makes a lot of difference than other people fighting wise.
PDG: Recently, Antonio Silva’s manager said that he wants commissions to ban elbows on the ground. How do you feel about that?
McCall: BOO! I love elbows (laughs). I am a huge fan of elbows. I get their argument, you know, yeah cuts and stuff but that’s part of the game. I think we’re too far into it. Even though we’re a young sport, I think we’re too far into it to take them away. I think they are a good part of the sport. They add that danger, you know.
PDG: Speaking of elbows, Kenny Florian just retired last week. How does that affect you as a fighter since he’s a pioneer of the sport?
McCall: It really doesn’t affect me as a fighter. I like Kenny a lot. Kenny is a great guy and an a amazing fighter. Even though he never won a serious title or anything. He didn’t get three title shots for no reason. The guy is a stud and I think he’s one of the best commentators around. At least he still has something to do with the sport, you know.
PDG: Most rankings have you as the #1 Flyweight in the world, do you consider yourself the #1 flyweight, or do you believe beating Demetrious Johnson and then Joseph Benavidez will make you #1?
McCall: I think I’m #1. I know I’m #1 but I have to prove it and I like that. I found it kind of funny that I went from being the #1 General consensus Flyweight in the world to all of a sudden the UFC opens up the class and “you’re not champion anymore!” (laughs). I don’t mind it, I like a good challenge and I like being underestimated.
PDG: You’re already 11-2-1 in your career, and the former Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Champion, what other milestones do you hope to accomplish?
McCall: Being UFC Champ, and holding on the belt for a while. Just creating a legacy, I want to go down in history. I want to do something awesome and I’m trying to do something great.
PDG: What other fights at the Flyweight division interest you as a fighter?
McCall: Either John Dodson or Louis Gaudinot. I’m sure they’ll wind up fighting and I am sure by the time this tournament concludes there will be a contender because the talent pool as far as the people are signed to the UFC isn’t that big yet. There is like six of us? Or eight of us, or whatever it is. I mean it’s not that many people, so I think we’ll have one quickly. Outside of that, I’m looking for a reason to fight in Brazil. I really want to fight in Brazil. Um, so I would like to see the UFC sign Jussier da Silva; somebody I’ve already fought. For one, I just want to give the guy a shot and he’s a great guy. Awesome competitor and I think he would do well in the UFC. And for him to weigh in and get a title shot once I am champion, would be cool because that would mean I could fight in Brazil and I would have a reason to go down there.
PDG: Are you going to stay at Flyweight for the rest of your career, or would you consider moving up?
McCall: I would consider it but I’ve got a while before I even think of moving up. There are people who keep talking about the winner of the three of us, since we’re all people who have fought Dominick [Cruz], and that we should fight him again. I’m like, you know what? Let me clean out my division, and then I’ll worry about Dominick or worry about whoever is champion then.
PDG: Thanks again for your time. We will be looking forward to your fight on June 8th; is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
McCall: No problem! I just want to say thanks a lot for watching me and supporting me.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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