Even though he doesn’t have the Tachi Palace Fights flyweight title around his waist, Ian McCall knows he’s the top 125-pound fighter in the sport.
McCall doesn’t really believe too much in rankings or in titles, but he knows that if you put him in the cage with any other flyweight, he’s pretty confident he’ll come out on top.
That’s the attitude that’s carried McCall to three straight victories, and what will bring him face to face with the Tachi Palace Fights champion Darrell Montague this weekend at Tachi Palace Fights 10 with the belt on the line.
McCall has been waiting for a few months to face Montague after he took the title from former champion Ulysses Gomez earlier this year. He admits that Montague’s performance over Gomez surprised him a bit, but McCall has no plans of letting him get one over this time around.
“Darrell kind of surprised me as well,” McCall commented about Montague’s win to capture the belt. “He’s a good fighter, but I’m not taking him lightly and I know that I’m going to walk out of there with the title.”
Even though Montague has the belt, most are considering McCall the favorite going into the fight. It was just a few months ago when McCall was on the other end of the odds when he faced former No. 1 ranked flyweight Jussier da Silva.
McCall had plans of his own and ended up winning a unanimous decision over da Silva. Now recognized as one of the top if not the best flyweight in the world, McCall isn’t worried about whether he’s the favorite going into the fight or not. He still has to face Darrell Montague, and no oddsmaker will be in the cage with them.
“Being the favorite or being the underdog doesn’t matter to me, I still have to go out there and fight. I’ve been the underdog and I’ve been the favorite, it really doesn’t matter,” McCall stated.
The fight between McCall and Montague not only has the Tachi Palace Fights flyweight title on the line, but potentially the pecking order for the 125-pound fighters that could eventually get the call to help fill the UFC’s flyweight roster.
UFC officials have long talked about creating a flyweight division and while some notable names like former bantamweight title contender Joseph Benavidez are likely to drop down in weight, new blood will also be on the call sheet.
McCall would be happy to get the call from the UFC to come fight in their flyweight division, and whether it’s a title fight in his first bout or working his way to the top, he’s happy with whatever decision gets made.
“I’m ready to prove myself against the best in the world. A lot of people are saying that I should just go there and fight Benavidez right away for the belt, but I know I might have to work my way up a little bit. But I’m ready to prove I’m the best against anybody the UFC would offer me,” McCall commented.
Of course McCall has to get the call to go to the UFC first, but he’s ready for the jump to the premier organization in the world. Not only is McCall ready, but his promoters at Tachi Palace Fights stand behind him and all of their fighters 100 percent if the UFC makes the call to bring them in.
“You know Jeremy (Luchau) just wants the best for all of us. He wants us to go to the UFC and succeed and that’s awesome,” said McCall. “I mean, we kind of butted heads when I first came to Tachi, cause I’m kind of a smart ass, but we get along well now and he understands that it only looks good for the promotion when a bunch of his guys go off and make it to the UFC.”
If McCall is successful in defeating Montague this weekend, he will position himself as not only the Tachi Palace Fights flyweight champion, but arguably the No. 1 125-pound fighter in the world.
Now the only question is can the UFC handle Ian McCall if he comes to the promotion?
“I’m not sure if they’re ready for me,” McCall joked about going to the UFC. “I might be too handsome.”