Where do we begin ...
Former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 contestant Rob Emerson spoke to the mixed martial arts (MMA) media ahead of his Bellator 116 bout against Joe Taimanglo taking place this Friday night (April 11, 2014) in Temecula, California.
It started off as your typical interview, where the fighter talks about his past, his upcoming fight, and how he believes the near future will play out.
Then, toward the end of the chat, "The Saint" dropped the mother of all bombshells when asked about his beef with UFC flyweight Ian McCall (via MMA Junkie):
"For sure it affected my relationship with Shane (Del Rosario). There's a lot of facts that are not true with that whole thing. Me and Ian have been going back with our stuff for a long time, and he knows I don't like him. He knows not to be anywhere if I see him, he knows to leave the area. I don't know, it's a very personal thing I have against him. I hold him responsible for a lot of the stuff that happened with Shane, indirectly ... and he knows it. I tried calling Colin and setting up that fight, I told him ‘What do I have to do to have Ian to come up to 135 and fight me.' I know he fought '34, I'll go down to 135, and that was also a big motivation factor in cutting this weight. But, that kid won't fight me. I'll end his career if I fought him, and if I didn't not just beat him, but end his career, I would retire. I have a deep-seated passion, highly dislike for that kid. Like I said, Shane was my best friend, we were all friends, and there's a lot of facts and stuff that I'm not going to bring up, but I hold him indirectly responsible for what happened to Shane."
The hatred between Ian McCall and Rob Emerson is nothing new. They used to be good friends, until "Uncle Creepy" dropped a bomb of his own on Twitter last summer (the tweet has since been deleted):
The deceased Del Rosario was a good friend of McCall, and everybody knows about the latter's struggles with substance abuse -- something he does not shy away from discussing. The budding heavyweight passed away on Dec. 9, 2013, after two heart attacks hospitalized him on Nov. 26, 2013.
An autopsy determined Del Rosario had used cocaine and opiates prior to his death.
It's a fairly serious accusation from the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, since Emerson tells his audience he was still close with Del Rosario and points the finger at McCall.
It remains to be seen -- or heard -- if McCall decides to respond.