Ian McCall has officially retired from the sport of mixed martial arts.
The longtime UFC flyweight contender announced on today’s episode of The MMA Hour that he was stepping down from a grueling 15-year career after a ridiculous run of unfortunate circumstances over the past four years.
With events actually leading him further away from becoming the best in the world at 125 pounds, he proclaimed it just wasn’t worth it to continue fighting:
“I’m retiring finally, I think people have been waiting for this for a long time,” McCall said. “I’m done. This sport has taken so much from me — I shouldn’t say it’s taken, I’ve given this sport so much. And sure, I was the best in the world years ago and sure, people keep bringing up my ‘Al Bundy’ moment about beating Demetrious (Johnson), ‘Oh, you’re the guy, blah blah blah.’
“I’ve had a good run, it’s been fun, but at the same time, it’s over. After enough shenanigans that I’ve been through, I think physically I could still do it. Physically I go in the gym, I train hard. I beat people up, I have a good time, I love doing it, but with my luck and I hate to be the guy that’s like, ‘It always happens to me, the bad things always happen to me,’ well they kind of do in this sport. … I’m not gaining ground, I’m not getting closer to being the best in the world. The steps are getting farther and farther away and I’m not in this to be anything but the best in the world. And if I cannot compete at that level of the best in the world, then it’s just not worth it for me.”
McCall was last seen being knocked out in nine seconds by former UFC title contender Kyoji Horiguchi at Rizin Fighting Federation 10 on May 6, a somewhat controversial result based on the quickness of the stoppage, but also a fight after which McCall publicly questioned if he wanted to continue fighting.
It’s tough to blame him after he was set to fight nine times over the past four years only to see each bout called off due to some complication or injury from either him or his opponent.
He eventually left the UFC after the strange, disturbing run of call-offs and found a new home in Japan’s Rizin FF, only to see more strange circumstances unfold when his first fight against Manel Kape was called off by TKO after he apparently suffered a cut from the ring rope.
Those kinds of outcomes, unfortunately, plagued McCall’s career over the last several years, and indeed he never got a chance to prove how good he truly was. His aforementioned “Al Bundy” moment against dominant UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson came at UFC on FX 2 in 2012, where he nearly finished the record-breaking MMA great in the third round of their flyweight tournament fight. The bout was declared a majority draw after mass confusion when the incorrect result declaring Johnson the winner was read at first.
The tournament rules also called for a fourth round to settle all draws, but it was somehow not taken advantage of, so rematched Johnson at UFC on FX 3 but lost a unanimous decision, allowing “Mighty Mouse” to advance to the flyweight tournament finals and defeat Joseph Benavidez for the gold at UFC 152 that autumn.
“Uncle Creepy” was once considered one of if not the best 125-pound talents in all of MMA after winning the Tachi Palace Fights belt during a time when flyweights were not competing in the UFC.
A roller coaster of injuries and unlikely scenarios caused an abrupt end to his career, signaling the injustice that the 34-year-old was never able to fulfill his full potential in the octagon.
We here at LowKickMMA wish McCall all the best in his future endeavors.