UFC 163 fight card primer: Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos

Esther Lin, MMAFighting

The Bloody Elbow team looks at all 12 fights taking place tonight at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Here, we look at Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos.

We have two top 10 flyweights in action tonight in Rio de Janeiro, and one of them is Ian McCall (11-4-1 MMA, 0-2-1 UFC), who faces unranked Iliarde Santos (27-7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the UFC 163 preliminary card. Originally these two were going to be on Facebook, but multiple injuries meant live TV time for them.

Santos is dropping to 125 lbs after a rushed UFC debut against Yuri Alcantara at bantamweight. McCall entered the UFC with high expectations but has yet to record a win in the promotion. The UFC 163 prelims air live on FX at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT before the PPV broadcast kicks off at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

McCall: 29 years old | 5'5" | 64" reach
Santos: 32 years old | 5'5" | 67" reach

What have these two done recently?

McCall: L - Joseph Benavidez (UD) | L - Demetrious Johnson (UD) | D - Demetrious Johnson
Santos: L - Yuri Alcantara (TKO) | W - Maycon Silvan (UD) | W - Leandro Higo (UD)

How did these two get here?

McCall was one of four men chosen for the UFC's 2012 flyweight tournament, and he won FOTN honors in his semifinal matchup with Demetrious Johnson. The problem? He was announced as the loser, but should've been given a "sudden victory" 4th round after it was discovered the scorecards were incorrectly tabulated. McCall lost the rematch to Mighty Mouse and then lost to Joseph Benavidez at UFC 156. So not only does McCall already have personal problems affecting his life, but he's not been able to get that elusive UFC win.

Santos is a Jungle Fights veteran who just recently fought John Lineker to a split decision loss back in 2011. He replaced the injured Marcos Vinicius against bantamweight contender Yuri Alcantara at UFC on FX 8, and was absolutely crushed in just 1 round. The loss, coupled with the fact that he looked much smaller than the (admittedly large) Alcantara, prompted a move to flyweight, where he's been given a very dangerous opponent.

Why should you care?

If McCall is a top 10 flyweight then he needs to start winning again. Tonight is a shade under two full years since his last win and he is desperate for both a UFC win and a good showing.

SBN coverage of UFC 163: Aldo vs. Jung

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