Ian McCall

Ian McCall Q&A: Living (and Fighting) on Borrowed Time

Tony Reid – You are not a fan of nicknames in general and especially those people who give themselves a nickname. For those who don’t know the story, can you explain how the nickname Uncle Creepy originated?

Ian McCall – “My friend’s son calls me ‘Uncle Ian’ and one morning when I was trying to tire him out at three in the morning and trying to get him to go to sleep. We were playing with a skateboard and he called me “Uncle Creepy”. Everyone heard that and it just stuck.”

Tony Reid – I heard that there were some adult beverages going around at the time and that it even got those people who were otherwise out of it to take notice, so it must have been pretty epic.

Ian McCall – “Everyone else was wasted and I was the sober driver guy but I don’t know if that was enough to wake up sleeping drunken guys though.”

Tony Reid – There have been a number of epic moustaches over the course of history (Salvador Dali, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, Rollie Fingers). So where does the Uncle Creepy ‘stache rank on that list?

Ian McCall – “Oh, I’m just a mere simple man with a great moustache. I would like to say I’m pushing top ten now and when my legacy is complete I will be an equal with them. They will remember me for more than my moustache but it will be there.”

Tony Reid – To the casual MMA fans that recently became aware of you and aren’t familiar with your career which fight would you want them to see as the best representation of your work so far?

Ian McCall – “I would say my dissection of Darrel Montague or when I won my first world championship or even my first fight with Demetrious Johnson. It was a great showcase, it was my first fight in the UFC, and it was a great fight.”

Tony Reid – Is there anyone out there in any weight class that you would, hypothetically, like to fight and test your skills against?

Ian McCall – “It would be Jon Jones. Obviously, he’s an awesome fighter but I’m not very stoked on the guy as a person. I really don’t know what it is about him but I don’t like him that much. I think it would be fun to punch him in the face and test myself against him, he’s that good. I have never met the guy I just don’t like him. He seems a little fake to me. In a sport that is filled with very real people he comes off as being full of shit.”

Tony Reid – At one point you ended up dead on an emergency room table after a drug overdose, only to come to a few days later. You mention that you have lost a number of friends to drug overdose, accidents, etc. You have been to rehab, spent time in jail, etc. Can you talk about some of the trials and tribulations and crazy shit you have been through to get to this point in your life?

Ian McCall – “I’m on borrowed time. I have been through so much, my own death and then coming back to life. My house was raided by the DEA a few times and by the cops a few times. I was looking at prison time, I have been to rehab for six months, I have had guns put in my face…I have done some horrible, horrible things in my life. I am just happy to be alive and be able to do what I’m doing now. I get a second chance. I blew my first chance. I squandered my shot in the WEC. To be able to come back and be in the position I’m in, to make a name for myself and provide for my family is something I can’t really even put into words. I’m just so happy to have the opportunity be able to do it.”

Tony Reid – With all of the craziness you have been though do you feel like those experiences give you a better appreciation for what you have the opportunity to do now?

Ian McCall – “I think so. Nothing against other guys, not saying they take it for granted but I have seen the darkest depths of my life. I have seen and done pretty bad things. I have seen dark, dark places. I have hit rock bottom. Now I am able to be in the rarified air of where I’m at now. To be able to take a step back and appreciate all that others have done for me, kept the faith in me, it’s an awesome feeling.”

Tony Reid – Living and fighting on borrowed time is something you talk about regularly. It shows itself in your fighting style. Does that mindset translate to all aspects of your life?

Ian McCall – “Yeah, if I’m going to do something I’m going to do it right. It was like that when I was partying. If I was going to party I was going to party hard! If I’m going to be a dad and a husband I’m going to do it to the fullest. If I fight, I’m going out there to put on a show.”

Tony Reid – You have stated that you are your own worst enemy. How to you manage that thought or feeling on a day to day basis?

Ian McCall – “It’s a daily struggle but I have a pretty good stranglehold on my darker side. I have tools I use…I’m not an AA guy or anything like that. I just am able to control myself and take myself out of my old ways. I have to have the understanding and appreciate that I can’t screw up anymore. I can’t blow it.”

Tony Reid – Who are your favorite fighters to watch as a fan of the sport?

Ian McCall – “Jose Aldo is my favorite, that guy is a freak. It’s so natural with him. Guys like that are awesome. Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz and guys like that. As far as guys I don’t like to watch a lot of the bigger guys don’t excite me. I really don’t watch fighting all that much. I think a lot of the guys bore me at times. Fighting is my job but I’ve actually watched Disney and Pixar movies more than I watch fighting.”

Tony Reid – What is the one thing that people might be surprised to learn about you?

Ian McCall – “The one thing people haven’t gotten into is my love of cars. I love anything with a motor. I was raised in a car family. My family owns a car dealership in downtown LA by the Staples Center. I was raised around fast cars. If I would have won that $600 million in the Mega Millions I probably would have spent it all on cars.”