If the judges’ scorecards had been counted correctly and the UFC flyweight tournament bout between Ian McCall and Demetrious Johnson had gone to a “sudden victory” fourth round, McCall believes he would have finished his opponent.
As evidence, he points to a strong third round in the March 3 matchup. McCall slammed Johnson in that final period, took his back, mounted him and landed heavy punches and elbows.
“I think I was close to putting him away in the third,” McCall told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I think I would have put him away.”
He didn’t get the chance, though. Due to the tabulation error, the fight was ruled a majority decision for Johnson after the third round. Later it was changed to a majority draw, but McCall doesn’t think that was right either.
“I thought I won, but I got a weird, weird, sick feeling that I wasn’t going to win,” McCall said. “At first when I stood up, I was like, ‘I won the fight. I won the fight,’ and then when the ref grabbed my hand, I felt like I didn’t win. I felt like I did win, but I wasn’t going to get the decision.”
McCall won the third, but the first round was close and Johnson earned the second. With that said, McCall delivered the most significant damage in the fight.
“I think maybe he just wasn’t used to someone being maybe as strong as I am or being able to keep up with him that much,” McCall said. “I don’t get tired. People thought I got tired in the second, but I just got frustrated honestly. I was mentally not focused. I was really not proud of myself for how I performed. But it was mental. I played into his game too much. That’s why I looked so much different in the second round.”
In particular, McCall wasn’t happy with his striking. He thinks he’ll do much better in the June 8 rematch at UFC on FX 3, however.
“Neither of us are going to change that much, to be honest,” McCall said. “I think if anybody has a lot to change, it’s me. Because again, my standup was horrible. I just need to get in my rhythm, go out there and do my thing. I’m sure he’ll be a little bit different. He’ll probably work on wrestling stuff because I’m sure he doesn’t want to be underneath me again, but I don’t see either of us changing too much.”
McCall does expect a different ending, though.
“I did my job,” he said. “I put on a show for everybody. This one’s for me. … I’m going to finish this next fight. I don’t know if it’s going to be on the feet or on the ground, but I’m going to finish this fight.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:31:25).