Ex-UFC contender Ian McCall joins Rizin FF bantamweight grand prix, debuts Dec. 29

Due to an infamous run of bad luck, Ian McCall has fought just once since July 2014. But that could soon change – in a big way.

Officials today announced McCall (13-5-1), a former UFC flyweight contender who’s No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, has joined the organization’s world bantamweight grand prix as a wild card and is set for a promotional debut at Rizin FF 8.

“Rizin FF 8: World Grand Prix 2nd Round” takes place Dec. 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and it streams in North America on FITE TV.

McCall, who could now fight three times in just three days, meets 23-year-old Portuguese fighter Manel Kape (7-1), who scored a knockout win over Erson Yamamoto this past weekend at Rizin FF 7 in an opening-round matchup. McCall vs. Kape is one of four quarterfinal-round matchups slated for Rizin FF 8.

The fighters squared off today at the official announcement (via Twitter):

The winner advances to the semifinal round, which takes place two days later at Rizin FF 9. That Dec. 31 event features both the semis and the tournament final. Therefore, the tourney winner and runner-up are scheduled to fight three times in a 48-hour span.

For 33-year-old McCall, who’s had six bouts canceled in recent years due to his opponents’ and his own injuries and fight-week ailments, it’s his first fighting opportunity since he fired his manager and requested and received his UFC release.

Other quarterfinal-round matchups slated for Rizin FF 8 include Kyoji Horiguchi (20-2) vs. TBA, Takafumi Otsuka (23-12-2) vs. Khalid Taha (11-0), and Shintaro Ishiwatari (23-6) vs. Kevin Petshi (13-3).

The latest Rizin FF 8 card now includes:

  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. TBA – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal
  • Manel Kape vs. Ian McCall – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal
  • Takafumi Otsuka vs. Khalid Taha – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal
  • Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Kevin Petshi – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal

For more on Rizin FF 8, check out the MMA Rumora section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie