Sometimes it’s funny to compare Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters to the folks doing theater over in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Other times it’s not.
UFC flyweight Ian McCall is struggling to make sense of his life — and his mixed martial arts (MMA) career — after suffering from myriad health issues that range from a wonky stomach to a malfunctioning brain.
That’s why “Uncle Creepy” is trying to get out in front of his medical problems by undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (“brain treatment”) in San Diego, under the watchful eye of UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitsky.
From his conversation with The MMA Hour:
“My whole career is a regret … I don’t hold any ill will toward the sport, it’s a weird place that people at the end of their career kind of go over. And no one talks about it, people fight it. I’m not gonna fight it. People make Chris Benoit out to be - I always thought he was a fucking monster for what he did. And then being with (my wife) Alicia and being around wrestlers and the stories you hear about Chris and how good of a person he was and how amazing of a father he was, all of this stuff, and it’s the TBI or drugs - I’m not saying he was on drugs - or steroids or whatever. That stuff drives people crazy and for me to think that through hurting my brain I could hurt someone else, like the people I love? Sorry. Not gonna happen. I’m not going to ever, ever let that happen. So I’m at least going to hop on it now and try and fix it before it gets worse and if I can fight again then cool. If I don’t fight again then sure, my whole career is a regret, but whatever, I had a lot of fun.”
McCall admitted to experiencing “bouts of rage, bi-polar symptoms, and out-of-nowhere crying.”
Benoit was one of the top names in professional wrestling for the better part of a decade, until June 2007 when he murdered his wife and seven-year-old son before committing suicide.
It’s widely-believed that Benoit’s brain damage — stemming from years of physical abuse inside the ring — played a role in the murders and helped push for more efforts into understanding and combatting Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
McCall (13-5-1) has not competed since a unanimous decision loss to John Lineker in early 2015.