Days after UFC release, Ian McCall has found a new home

By Tom Taylor - October 16, 2017

Earlier this month, we learned that long-time UFC flyweight contender Ian McCall had been granted a release from his UFC contract. It did not take long for him to find a new home.

Ian McCall

Just days removed from his UFC release, McCall has signed with Japan’s Rizin Fighting Federation, per Nick Strickland of FanSided. McCall will join Rizin’s bantamweight Grand Prix as a wildcard, where he will debut against Portugal’s Manel Kape.

Due to an absurd string of unlucky breaks, McCall has not fought since a January 2015 loss to John Lineker. As Strickland points out in the Tweet above, success in Rizin’s bantamweight Grand Prix could mean he fights three times in a single night. Good news for a fighter who has been incredibly frustrated about his inactivity.

McCall’s opponent Manel Kape fought at Rizin FF 7 over the weekend, knocking out Kid Yamamoto nephew and protege Erson Yamamoto with a head-kick and followup punch.

If McCall defeats Kape, he could well collide with former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi next. Horiguchi will soon battle a TBA opponent in an attempt to move on to the next round.

The other remaining fighters in this tournament are Shintaro Ishiwatari, Kevin Petshi, Takafumi Otsuka, and Khalid Taha. Akhmed Musakaev, Jae Hoon Moon, Keita Ishibashi, Yamamoto and UFC veteran Anthony Birchak have all already been eliminated. 

Do you think Ian McCall can steam past Kyoji Horiguchi and others to win the Rizin bantamweight Grand Prix?

This article first appeared on on 10/15/2017.