Ian McCall is a relatively new name to the UFC, but has become very well-known from his first bout inside the Octagon against Demetrious Johnson. His highly controversial bout that was miscalculated by the judges has left McCall and Johnson with only one solution: rematch. The two will face off again to determine Joseph Benavidez's opponent for the inaugural UFC Flyweight championship title. Bleacher Report's Gregory Chase spoke with Ian McCall on the aftermath of his fight, his background, and the man behind the mustache!
GC: UFC on FX 2 was a great night of fights, but the biggest story came from your bout with Demetrious Johnson. Quite a unique situation, how did you think the fight was playing out, going into the third round?
IM: Going into the third round, I thought it was one round to one. I thought I had won the first round and he won the second. You know, my coach said “You have to win this round," so I went out there and did what I had to do, and I thought that was enough to win.
GC: Now after the event, there were videos of both you and Johnson being informed by Dana White of what had occurred with the scorecards. When he told you that what had happened, what was going through your head?
IM: I thought I was laughing to be honest with you! I really thought I was laughing, and then I watched the video and I was just staring at him. Maybe I was laughing on the inside [laughs], I’m not really sure! You know, I had a big **** eating grin on my face, and everyone keeps saying I just asked where my money was!
GC: Now you’ll have your chance to get a decisive win at the next UFC on FX event in June when you rematch Demetrious Johnson. In what ways are you preparing differently for the rematch?
IM: There’s not much difference. The gameplan is a little bit different, but not too much. We know where my strengths are against him, so we’re just kinda going to employ that stuff. You know, I wanna finish the fight. I like battles and stuff, but if I can really show my dominance and finish him, then that’s obviously what I want to do.
GC: Do you feel more confident in facing Johnson this time around, now that you know what his speed and style is like?
IM: Yeah. I was confident to begin with, I never doubted myself about the fight, but now I know that I am the better fighter than he is. I’m stronger, physically stronger, more aggressive; things like that. I know I can finish him, I know I can beat him up.
GC: So everyone is excited for this rematch, but because of the controversy, do you feel that you have gained a new level of popularity?
IM: Oh of course, you know, controversy does that. Any press is good press. So luckily I haven’t really gotten any bad press out of this. I think I’ve maybe heard one or two people say that he won out of however many thousand people. So I’m happy about it all.
GC: Let’s get to know Ian McCall a little better. Let’s start with the nickname “Uncle Creepy”. What’s the story behind that?
IM: My friend, his son calls me “Uncle Ian”, he just ended up calling me “Uncle Creepy” one night when I was trying to put him to bed. He wanted to play with a skateboard at like three in the morning, and he just called me Uncle Creepy and everybody heard. You know, I’m not a fan of nicknames. I think they’re stupid, but it’s one of those things where I always make fun of people with nicknames; especially people whom give their nickname to themselves. You know, if you give yourself a nickname, I already don’t like you.
GC: Now what got you into MMA? What drew you to it?
IM: I’ve been doing martial arts my whole life. I saw UFC 1, UFC 2, you know, all the ones I could see. If I didn’t see them live, I rented them. I just always wanted to do it. I liked fighting as a kid, it always interested me. I always got in fights as a kid. I think I was always a little quick to throw blows. I like fighting. If someone, when you were a kid, especially as small as I was; people always want to talk ****. It was like they didn’t expect me to be ready to fight at the drop of a hat. You know when little kids go back and forth and they just push each other…well if someone pushed me, I would punch them. I was never the kid who was getting into a shoving match. I was “Okay, you pushed me, I’m punching you in the mouth” [laughs]. Maybe that was just because it is what I was taught, but I still obviously enjoy it; it’s the ultimate test of MAN. It makes me feel good.
GC: The mustache is a symbol for you, why did you pick that style? And what does the Mrs. think of it?
IM: Oh, my wife hates it! But she knows it pays the bills. She knows that it pays my rents and she’s okay with it. It kinda just happened one day. You know, the nickname just happened, the mustache…I think I just grew a beard out, I was being lazy, I just grew out a huge beard. Then I just trimmed it, and it just ended up happening like that and I thought it was funny so I kept it. The joke turned into more than a joke, and now I can’t shave the freakin’ thing! People won’t let me!
GC: Now you are a father to an adorable baby girl, is that a future fighter in the making?
IM: No no no! [Laughs] She won’t be a fighter. I mean, maybe she’ll do a little bit of jiu-jitsu or something growing up just because she’s with me at the gym.
GC: Everlast did a promotion once where they asked people the question “What do you fight for? Finish the sentence, I fight for [blank].
IM: Man…I fight for my family. I fight for my wife, daughter, and my two dogs that I have to feed. That’s what I fight for.
GC: Now aside from fighting and rocking the mustache, what do you enjoy doing outside the Octagon? Any hobbies or interests?
IM: You know, I live fast. I like the beach, I grew up on the beach. I don’t surf as much anymore, but just being at the beach. Just being in the water is like church, man, you know….that’s holy ground. During training camp and stuff, I don’t go as much. But when it’s the summer time, especially now that I have a little girl, I go to the beach as much as possible.
GC: Now you have a few different tattoos, what are they and what do they mean?
IM: On my leg and my ribs it says “War” in Japanese, and I got three Japanese Gods of war on my side. On my leg it’s a snake, a Japanese snake with another God of war. Basically all my Japanese tattoos are war-based. And I’m sure I’ll connect my rib to my leg and my arm. Then on my chest I have “Capulet." I’m a big Romeo and Juliet guy. Then I got the sacred heart from Romeo and Juliet on my chest. I got a new one on my hand that’s Shakespeare: “These violent delights have violent ends." I just found out that it’s the same [laughs]…the girl says it in Twilight. I saw one of the Twilights for the first time last night and realized; yes, I have a twilight tattoo.
GC: Is that something you are saying in pride or disappointment?
IM: Kinda disappointment, like “Oh man, really?!....REALLY? No one told me that before I got it? [Laughs]
GC: As a fighter, I want to get your thoughts on the whole TRT, PED, any drug under the sun in MMA. What do you think of the whole Overeem situation for example?
IM: You know, I don’t think steroids give you an advantage in MMA at all. Like honestly, I don’t think they give you a tactical advantage. Being buff isn’t….you know…muscles are for ****ies. Like, I have low testosterone; I’ve gotten this far with low testosterone, I don’t’ really care. If someone wants to do that stuff and I’m going to fight them, I don’t care, they can do it all they want. You know, I think especially if someone is hurt, they should do it. You know, we’re here for entertainment; it’s our job to do what we have to do to recover as fast as possible so we can put on a show.
GC: Now because you have low testosterone, is TRT something you would consider?
IM: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. Obviously I have to go to the UFC about it. I don’t know, like I said, I’ve gotten this far without it…I don’t know if I need it. I just found out, not too long ago; before my last fight. I’m not too sure if I want to do it or what. I have to talk to my coaches and my doctors about it, and talk to the UFC about it too.
GC: Last thing, give me the official prediction for the highly anticipated rematch between Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Who wins, what round, what method?
IM: Hmm…well….I’m going to win obviously. Third round, ground and pound. Just like last time, but I’ll finish him this time.