It took three months, but Ian McCall will finally get the chance to continue his fight against Demetrious Johnson.
McCall and Johnson will meet tonight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship rematch that never should have been necessary in the main event of the UFC on FX 3 card in Sunrise, Fla.
The bout is a semifinal contest in the UFC flyweight tournament to determine the division’s first champion. The first meeting between the two ended in a draw, but the athletic commission in Australia miscalculated the scores and announced Johnson as the winner.
A sudden-victory round was supposed to be conducted in case of a draw, but that didn’t happen because of the scoring error.
McCall had taken control of the fight in the third round and thinks that momentum would have undoubtedly carried him to victory had there been a fourth round.
"It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I can’t really complain," he said. "With the exposure I get and being able to get paid twice to fight a person I know I can beat, it’s OK. I’ll deal with it."
McCall said the time between hearing Johnson announced as the winner and finding out the real result later that night was strange.
"It was an emotional roller coaster. I was pretty angry with myself because I wasn’t satisfied with my performance," he said. "Then finding out it was really a draw, I was just laughing about the whole ordeal in my head, and I felt OK about it because I knew I would get a second chance."
McCall is confident things will go his way this time. He said that while his performance was disappointing, Johnson showed everything he had the first time and still couldn’t win.
"It’s my own fault for not being focused, but I think the rematch definitely favors me," he said.
The winner will face Joseph Benavidez, who defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani on the March card, in the final.
"It would mean the world to me to go down in history as the first UFC flyweight champion," McCall said. "It’s a big deal to go down in the record books. It’s Hall of Fame worthy. You’re not just a champion. You’re the first champion."
McCall has plans beyond winning the belt this year. The Southern Californian hopes to leave a legacy in the sport with a lengthy title reign.
"I’ve been in this game a long time," the 27-year-old said. "I grew up in this sport, and I would like to leave a big mark by being a champion for a long time."
He will have to win two fights to get there, and that starts with beating Johnson. The card airs live on FX (Cable 24) at 6 p.m.
Two welterweight bouts also will be featured, as Josh Neer faces Las Vegan Mike Pyle and rising prospect Erick Silva meets Charlie Brenneman.
The preliminary card will air live on Fuel TV (Cable 319) at 3 p.m.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.