MMA fans awoke to an increasingly familiar scenario this morning.
Veteran flyweight #IanMcCall was pulled from his fight against #NeilSeery, marking his third cancellation in the last four months. It's the seventh time McCall has been axed from a fight card in the past three years.
It's a dispiriting trend to state the obvious, and one that left McCall's scheduled opponent, Neil Seery -- who had already stated his intentions to retire after the fight regardless of how it went -- so disgusted that he openly pondered whether he'd even attend the event at all.
“I nearly burst out crying, to tell you the truth. I was so upset," said Seery. "There’s nothing I can do. Me giving out about it and crying isn’t going to change the fact that I’m not fighting tomorrow ... I’m going to go home, I’m going to sit down with my wife and basically see what’s next.”
Although it looks like Seery will live to fight another day, the future remains uncertain for "Uncle Creepy," whose four year run inside the Octagon has been marred bout cancellations, injuries, and some honest bad luck.
The Fourth Round That Never Was
The truth is that McCall's run of misfortune dates all the way back to his UFC debut, when he squared off with future flyweight champion #DemetriousJohnson in the semifinals of the UFC's inaugural flyweight champion.
After a back and forth battle that saw McCall become the only man in UFC history to mount Johnson, the fight was eventually awarded to "Mighty Mouse" by majority decision.
Except that it wasn't ...
Thanks to a judging error, the result was amended to a draw, a decision that would have resulted in a deciding fourth round had the scorecards been tabulated correctly. But they weren't, so McCall was robbed of his chance to possibly score a victory over the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
McCall would receive another shot at Johnson, just three months later, losing a clear-cut unanimous decision. His career never rebounded; "Uncle Creepy" was unable to reignite the momentum he gained in the third round of his first fight with Johnson.
Injury, Illness, and Botched Weight Cuts
In the years that followed, McCall fought eventual flyweight title contender #JosephBenavidez, as well as #IliardeSantos, #ScottJorgensen, and #BradPickett. But, thanks to a litany of injuries, he was never able to even break the .500 mark inside the Octagon.
Picking up a decision win over Pickett in 2014, it looked as if things might finally be going the right way for Ian McCall. He was paired against Brazilian slugger #JohnLineker in the co-main event of Fight Night 56 and looked to be in some of the best shape of his life at the weigh ins.
But turnabout is fair play, as they say, and just hours after making weight, McCall was struck down with a blood infection and forced out of the fight altogether.
Seemingly not content to just leave a broken man be, karma (or something like it) would once again rear its ugly head when McCall and Lineker did meet up the following year. The flyweight bout was changed to a catchweight, after Lineker once again showed up five pounds over the limit. Though McCall would accept the bout (and a percentage of Lineker's purse for his troubles), he would also come up short, dropping a unanimous decision at #UFC183.
Since losing to Lineker, McCall has had four fight scheduled, and not a single one has actually materialized.
At UFC Fight Night 73, McCall was forced from a bout against Dustin Ortiz, pulled from the card due to injury. And, just two days prior to #UFC201, McCall's opponent, #JustinScoggins, withdrew from their fight when he was unable to make weight. Less than two months later, McCall's next foe, #RayBorg, fell ill just prior to a planned #UFC203 bout.
With two opponents nixing fights with last-minute cancellations and the lengthy and devastating resume that proceed his 2016 campaign, McCall certainly has a case as the UFC's most unlucky fighter. It's as if the universe is trying to tell him something, and may be why McCall openly discussed his approaching retirement following the bout with Seery.
"[My body] is old, it's got a lot of miles on it," said McCall. "I'm not young so I train a lot differently than I used to ... I promised my family that if I had one more surgery I would be done."
With this latest cancellation, perhaps McCall won't even have to go under the knife. And hey, he always has his sweet tattoos and that wicked mustache.
Ian McCall's Cancelled Fights:
- John Moraga (UFC on FOX 4)
- Scott Jorgensen (UFC on FOX 9)
- Brad Pickett (Fight Night 37)
- John Lineker (Fight Night 56)
- Dustin Ortiz (Fight Night 73)
- Justin Scoggins (UFC 201)
- Ray Borg (UFC 203)
- Neil Seery (Fight Night 99)