Josh Rave (left) will vie for 125-pound supremacy against Ian McCall on Dec. 2. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Following a rib injury to No. 1 contender Will Campuzano, Josh Rave will now step up to challenge Tachi Palace Fights flyweight champion Ian McCall at TPF 11.
Sherdog.com learned of the change on Wednesday morning from Tachi Palace entertainment coordinator Jeremy Luchau.
“I'm not going to say this wasn't a difficult replacement,” Luchau wrote in a text. “The flyweight division is still developing, and I believe a majority of the standouts in the division are not itching to fight a guy like Ian McCall right now with the UFC looming on the horizon.”
Taking place Dec. 2 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif., the event will also feature featherweight and bantamweight title bouts, as Issac DeJesus faces Georgi Karakhanyan while Cody Gibson meets Ulysses Gomez.
Rave has won three of his last four after suffering back-to-back defeats to Clint Godfrey and Zach Makovsky. An eight-year pro, “The Rage” has been perfect through 2011 thus far, notching wins over Mike Powell and Lewis McKenzie in April and August, respectively. Hailing from Omaha, Neb., and representing Elite Performance, Rave owns eight of his 18 career wins by submission.
“Rave is a top-10 guy in a lot of rankings, and most of his losses have been to some of the better talent at 135 [pounds],” said Luchau. “We felt like this is the best possible fight we could put together right now.”
McCall hasn't lost since 2009, when he departed the WEC's bantamweight division and settled in at 125 pounds. “Uncle Creepy” has looked sharp in his three-fight stint with Tachi, debuting with an upset win over Brazil's Jussier da Silva, who was then considered the top flyweight in the world.
The Californian would follow that victory with another decision win, this time over Dustin Ortiz. Most recently, McCall finished Darrell Montague to capture the TPF flyweight belt on Aug. 5.