Ian McCall, who at one time was regarded by some as perhaps the top flyweight in the world, has announced his retirement at age 33.
“Uncle Creepy” revealed his decision during an appearance on ”The MMA Hour” on Monday. McCall said he decided to call it a career following a nine-second knockout loss to Kyoji Horiguchi at Rizin Fighting Federation 10 on May 6.
“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.’”
McCall was part of the UFC’s inaugural four-man flyweight tournament, and in the opening matchup he had reigning 125-pound king Demetrious Johnson reeling in the third stanza of their UFC on FX 2 encounter in March 2012. After three rounds, the bout was announced as a majority decision victory for “Mighty Mouse.” It was later revealed there was a tabulation error and should have been scored a draw, which would have sent the contest to a fourth round. An extra frame could have been interesting, considering that McCall had momentum on his side.
However, Johnson took a clear-cut decision in the rematch and has since gone on to be one of the most dominant champions the promotion has ever seen. McCall, meanwhile, went 2-3-1 in the Octagon and notably went through one stretch from 2015 to 2017 where six of his fights were cancelled for various reasons.
“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,” McCall said.
“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 ends his career with a 13-7-1 mark. In 2011, the Team Oyama representative bested Jussier da Silva, Dustin Ortiz and Darrell Montague in Tachi Palace Fights en route to capturing the promotion’s flyweight crown. He signed with the UFC shortly thereafter. McCall also owns wins over Brad Pickett, Iliarde Santos and Coty Wheeler over the course of a career that began in 2002.