SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: Ian McCall of the USA looks on during the UFC On FX flyweight bout between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall at Allphones Arena on March 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
He'd better, after admittedly pouring over the footage of the fight and studying ever little mistake during his one week vacation.
"Uncle Creepy" has already won over a large contingent of UFC fans with his charisma, his high energy fighting style and of course, that ridiculous mustache which sets him apart from just about every other fighter in the sport.
But he knows the best way of all to gain acceptance is to be the best, and the only way to prove that is to be the world champion.
The day before the Team Oyama fighter got back into full training mode, McCall spoke with myself and Ben Thapa during a guest appearance on The Verbal Submission. In part one of our interview, he talked about his failure to follow the gameplan against "Mighty Mouse." Today, he discusses his progression in training, his mustache and what he'd do differently the second time around against Johnson.
Check it out in the extended entry below:
Ben Thapa: The drop down [to 125 pounds], does that affect your entire life or is it just more sessions in the sauna? Do you have to change your diet or change everything?
Ian McCall: I changed my diet up a lot. It's good for me, makes me healthier and better cardio and stuff. It was all for the best. I eat very, very, very cleanly.
(There's an audible sound of "beeps" in the background which sounds like a checkout counter)
Ben Thapa: Are you in the market right now buying groceries?
Ian McCall: Yeah (laughs)
Ben Thapa: What's on the list right now?
Ian McCall: Right now? I got doggie pee pads, I got baby formula and then I got a Snickers bar. I didn't buy anything for myself. I was just buying stuff I know my wife needs. She's taking a nap.
Ben Thapa: (laughs) Ok, back to more serious stuff. Your entire career has gotten to a point where you're now in the UFC and on pace for a title shot. The development of your skills from the beginning of your career to now. If you could go back, would you do things differently, or are you happy where you are?
Ian McCall: I'm happy where I am. I would have loved to got in all the extra time when I should have been training. I missed out on a good amount of time when I was screwing off and I should have been training. I would have had a couple thousand more hours in. I could have been a black belt in jiu-jitsu. I could be a lot of things but I'm happy with the way I've progressed and where I'm at physically, I couldn't ask for more.
Ben Thapa: How did that all transfer over? Is it really a matter of mental toughness at this level of the sport or is more about training your body to adapt for "this" situation or "that" situation?
Ian McCall: At this point, it's all about, I go over techniques and then a lot of it when I'm getting ready for the fight is reaction stuff because I have to train my body. I know what works for me in fighting. I know what to do to win. When you have a gameplan you have to go over whether you're gonna move forward in your gameplan and pressure, whether you're going to counterstrike and move backwards. You have to learn to punch at all those angles and you have to go over how you're gonna do it so I think it becomes very reactionary when you're at this level. You can still learn, obviously, if you're not learning, you're not doing something right.
Ben Thapa: Where do you estimate you are in terms of your final ceiling, like when you're old and you look back and say, "This is when I was the best." Where do you think you think you are in that progression? Are you 70, 80, 90 percent?
Ian McCall: Oh man, I'm still in my infancy because I learn stuff every time I go out. I go into the gym and I get beat up all the time. Sure, I might be good at putting things together MMA-wise but if I go straight wrestling with a world class wrestler, like I'll wrestle with John Azevedo or Sheldon Kim or the Holiday brothers or whoever it may be and I get the crap kicked out of me. I go with jiu-jitsu guys like Giva Santana or Laercio Fernandez and I get beat up again. I go with straight kickboxers like Romie Adanza and he beats the hell out of me. For me to be, I've got so much more to learn at each aspect and I think I'm very far off, like maybe halfway there. I've got so much more to learn and so much more to do. For me, I have to keep pushing myself and I have to keep learning. A lot of people stop and I hope I never stop.
Ben Thapa: In your most recent performance, when you had the back mount and DJ was kinda of turtling up, we saw Ronda Rousey somehow manage to make it into a beautiful armbar but you chose to go for the strikes. Is that a decision you feel comfortable with?
Ian McCall: Yeah, I can always hear my coaches and they were screaming, "Finish him! Don't armbar him!" I had like 50 seconds left and believe me, I've watched it and looked at it very much so in depth. I could have gone for it but they felt I was better off punching.
Ben Thapa: Is it almost like a "take what they give" you situation? It's tough to second guess yourself in the ring. What about the back mount position makes it so tricky to decide whether to go for strikes, armbars or rear naked chokes? Is it the gloves, the judging or just your own ferocity?
Ian McCall: You can kind of feel what the guy is going through when you're on top of him. You can feel if he's giving up or whether he's stuck there, his strength. It depends on a lot of variables. I think it's just as easy to go for a rear naked choke as to tie up an arm and go for the armbar from the back. I like that position. I usually just listen to my coaches. Whatever they say to do, I do and they said, "Pound!" and I said, "Okay."
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): There was one guy (Chase Hackett) on The Ultimate Fighter this past Friday that people were saying put you to shame with his mustache. Did you get a chance to see it and can you compare?
Ian McCall: I have not seen it. I don't watch much TV. I didn't even see my Inside MMA stuff because I just don't watch much TV. I watch movies with my daughter. I've watched The Lion King like 600 times. I heard about it on Twitter, I don't know much about him other than I know his nickname is "Prison Stare." He has a glorious mustache, good for him. He's part of the brotherhood with mustaches. Didn't he lose?
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Yeah, he lost so you don't have to worry about him getting any more facetime on TV.
Ian McCall: Yeah, until he starts winning and gets into the UFC, I don't give a shit.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Last serious question I've got before we let you go. What do you feel is one of the key things you need to do different in the next fight [with Demetrious Johnson] to ensure victory?
Ian McCall: Just put the pressure on him. I played into his game too much. I just need to go at him.
Ian McCall would like to thank his team Team Oyama, Lotus Club Jiu-Jitsu, his friends, his family, his sponsors Metal Militia, Hayabusa, Memphis Car Audio. You can follow him on Twitter @UncleCreepyMMA.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Is Ian McCall UFC championship material? If he had to get in a "mustache-off" with Chase Hackett, who would be the victor?
To listen to the complete audio of our interview with Ian McCall, click here (interview begins at 7:30 mark).