Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall (11-4-1 MMA) has been placed in a very do or die situation for his fight at UFC 163 in Brazil. Being 0-3 in his last three fights, despite two of those losses being to current champion Demitrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez(ranked #1), Ian McCall has expressed that he believes his job is on the line. McCall, the number three ranked flyweight takes on Brazilian native Iliarde Santos (27-7-1 MMA) who looks for his first UFC win coming off of losing via knockout in his UFC debut against Yuri Alcantara.
“Uncle Creepy“, the former #1 ranked flyweight in the world, has yet to earn a win inside the Octagon but has definitely earned his spot amongst the top of the flyweight division, giving both Joseph Benavidez and Demitrious Johnson possibly their toughest fights of their careers. Four of his wins have come by way of knockout, three by submission, and four by decision. “Uncle Creepy” has only been finished once in his career back in the WEC where he was rear naked choked by Charlie Valencia. McCall sets a very fast pace and pressures his opponents for the entire duration of the fight but much like Clay Guida and Urijah Faber, he seems to fall short whenever he’s put against a championship level fighter. Fortunately for him, Iliarde Santos is not a champion level fighter.
Though Santos is a very well rounded fighter and a superb grappler, he has a very aggressive fighting style that will play right into the wrestling ability of McCall. Santos is currently coming off of a knockout loss to Yuri Alcantra in which he was a last minute replacement, though taking the fight granted him a spot on the UFC roster. Santos will see this fight as a fight to prove his worth in the UFC, knowing that two losses in a row at the age of 27 may result in the end of his UFC career.
Santos will look to end the fight early, hopefully catching Uncle Creepy with a power shot and earn his 13th KO/TKO victory, but if he is not successful his only chance will be to work his grappling when taken down on the mat. However, McCall is just as well rounded with the advantage of having a very strong wrestling base which will make the difference in this fight as it will be very useful when Santos is throwing aggressively. Santos is a very durable fighter, though, so look for him to try and catch McCall in a submission while fighting off of his back.
Prediction: Ian McCall def. Iliarde Santos via unanimous decision.
I believe that while Iliarde Santos is very well rounded, McCall is just as well rounded (if not more so) with a very strong ability to wrestle. Iliarde Santos is going to come in very aggressive looking to make the statement that he belongs in the UFC but will pay for it landing him on his back at multiple points in each round, losing the fight for him on the judges score cards. McCall will mix it up well in this fight, utilizing active ground and pound and utilize an “in an out” striking strategy while he looks for Santos to commit to a strike in which he will shoot in for the take down. However, being the durable fighter than he is, Santos will fight until the closing bell while McCall proves his high ranking in the Flyweight division.