After 15 years as a professional fighter, Ian McCall has announced his retirement from MMA. McCall made this announcement on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“I’m retiring finally, I think people have been waiting for this for a long time,” McCall said (transcribed by Alexander K. Lee for MMA Fighting). “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.’
“I’ve had a good run, it’s been fun, but at the same time, it’s over,” McCall added. “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. … 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, who once stood out as the best flyweight in the world, was instrumental in the establishment of the division in the UFC.
Over the course of his illustrious career, McCall battled names like Demetrious Johnson, Dominick Cruz, Joseph Benavidez, John Lineker and Brad Pickett. McCall’s last two bouts occurred in the Rizin ring, where he first experienced a bizarre, injury-induced loss to Manel Kape, and most recently succumbed to punches from Kyoji Horiguchi in just 9 seconds.
On one of Ian McCall’s hands, there is a tattoo that reads “these violent delights have violent ends.” It’s a Shakespeare quote. As he ends his career on the heels of his blitzkrieg loss to Horiguchi, that tattoo seems quite fitting…
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/21/2018.