UFC flyweight Ian McCall has some serious unfinished business.
The top ranked 125 pound fighter on the planet, "Uncle Creepy's" UFC debut just over a week ago ended in an unprecedented fit of controversy as he was initially ruled the loser against Demetrious Johnson before finding out 45 minutes later that the commission had made a grievous error and the fight had actually been a draw.
Now, the flyweight division, after hoping to be guided quickly into the limelight, is at a standstill while a rematch is in the works to find the rightful challenger for Joseph Benavidez to crown the promotion's inaugural champion.
McCall took a week off to be with his family, but he's already back to work trying to correct his mistakes from his UFC on FX 2 main card fight against "Mighty Mouse."
The Team Oyama fighter spoke with MMAmania.com during a guest appearance on "The Verbal Submission" last night where he discussed his new tattoos, not following the gameplan against Johnson and even a potential return to bantamweight in part one of this exclusive interview.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This past Friday was your last real day off before you got back into training mode. Was it tough to get that time off? You mentioned earlier that you feel weird being inactive after a fight.
Ian McCall: I enjoy taking time off because I get to hang out with my wife and my daughter because I don't get to hang out with them that much when I'm training. It's my job so I have to do it but, I don't know, I train a lot. I get bored kinda. All the relaxing gets to me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've used this past week off to add some new tattoos to your body of work, one on your arm and your leg. Was there any significance to them?
Ian McCall: The leg is just something that I wanted to finish. I've got the whole right side of my body with Japanese and I wanted to try and finish it as fast as possible. My wrist and my hand, I just have from Shakespeare "These violent delights have violent ends" which I think is kind of fitting with me punching people in the face with my hands and all.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Let's talk a little bit about the Demetrious Johnson fight. First of all, there were a lot of doubters heading in because Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson, they had fought for titles at 135 pounds before and many assumed that they were going to win even though you were the top ranked flyweight. Do you feel like, even though the judges didn't end up siding with you, that it was a draw, that you really made your mark on the division and proved that you belonged with these guys?
Ian McCall: I at least proved that I belonged. I didn't really put the stamp on it that I wanted to. The stamp that I wanted to do would have been a finish but at least people have respect for me now. Thank God. All I needed to do was one fight to show them I'm actually worth their time.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What makes you want to yell out loud when you're in a fight or before a fight starts?
Ian McCall: I don't know. I've got issues. I get too excited and I just want to yell.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Now I know you were disappointed with the result in the end, but did them paying you your win bonus plus the $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus take away a bit of the sting?
Ian McCall: Yeah, it hurts a lot less when I have an extra 50 grand in my bank account. (laughs)
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): My assessment of the fight. It seemed like Johnson was a bit quicker and you were more powerful and the better wrestler. What do you feel you need to do to close that speed gap the next time you guys meet up?
Ian McCall: We had a gameplan going into it. I didn't follow the gameplan. I felt like I was in slow motion the whole time. He's a little quicker than me, but next time I'll show the real me. Like I said before. I'm very disappointed in my performance. Next time you'll see the real me at least on the feet. My wrestling was on point but the rest of my game was kind of off.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Something that I noticed was that he was really finding a home for his right hand. Do you feel that was perhaps your biggest mistake, letting him sneak in that right hand time and time again?
Ian McCall: Yeah, I wasn't keeping my hands up. I wasn't moving and I wasn't fighting like I was supposed to fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like because you and Demetrious have to fight again and Joe Benavidez has to wait, is that an advantage for you guys staying active while he's just kind of sitting on the sidelines?
Ian McCall: Not really. In some ways yes and in some ways no. He could get hurt. He's got more time to watch us. It goes both ways.
Gerry Rodriguez: You said it doesn't hurt having an extra 50 grand in your pocket and you said you're a guy with issues. Did you have any weird splurges or interesting buys?
Ian McCall: I bought myself a nice John Varvatos jacket, that's it. My wife was like, "Well you earned it. Why don't you buy it?" and I was like, "I don't want to spend that much money on a jacket," and she was like, "Do it!" so I bought myself a nice jacket. That's it. It was almost $1400.
Gerry Rodriguez: Have you ever thought about approaching Playstation to sponsor you? You've got this rematch coming up and he's an X-Box guy. Even if you don't play video games, it would make sense from their standpoint.
Ian McCall: You know, I have some friends that are some hardcores gamers and they keep talking about it. A friend of a friend's dad runs some company called Razer. They make gaming equipment and laptops and all that stuff so they were actually thinking about it but everything's just talk right now. If Playstation actually did want to sponsor me, that would be great. Sony's awesome and Sony could set up my house with TVs and systems and whatever they wanted to do.
Ben Thapa: Is there a point when dropping weight classes where the body tells the mind, "Yes, this is the right spot for me," or do you have to get used to either one?
Ian McCall: Some people can fluctuate. Some people -- 125 just felt right for me. I'm sure sooner or later I'll end up going back to 135 because I realize that I'm a big, big, big 125-er, but once I go up, I guess on day your body just adjusts to things. I've become very adjusted to 125 but I'm sure it won't be too hard for me to go back.
Stay tuned tomorrow for part two of our interview with Ian McCall where he discusses fight philosophy, changing his life and what exactly he needs to do differently to win the rematch with Demetrious Johnson later this year.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
After seeing McCall in action under the UFC banner for the first time, do you believe he has what it takes to not only defeat Demetrious Johnson in the rematch, but also win the inaugural UFC flyweight title?
To listen to the complete audio of our interview with Ian McCall, click here (starts at the 7:30 mark).