Opening up the UFC 163 FX prelims, Flyweight Ian McCall (12-4-1) earned his first win in the UFC with a unanimous decision over Iliarde Santos (21-8-1, 1 NC). After finally getting his hand raised in the Octagon, McCall's UFC record improved to 1-2-1. Santos was making his second appearance in the UFC and lsot for the second time as well.
Heading into the fight, McCall was rightfully a significant betting favorite. By all appearances, Santos was supposed to be a rebound fight for "Uncle Creepy". Despite the loss, Santos proved to be no man's stepping stone. Throughout the 3-round fight, he landed quite a few powershots on McCall. However, Ian was more active and more effective and took home the decision.
What was the high point of the fight?
About midway through the first round, McCall started throwing strikes from half-guard. Santos used the opening to create a scramble. He managed to return to his feet, but not before taking some big shots for the effort.
Where do they go from here?
McCall got the sin, so he won't be cut from the UFC, which seemed a real possibility had he lost. On the other hand, he was far from impressive in victory. As Flyweight division's #3 fighter, he was supposed to run through Santos and he didn't. This puts him further from another title shot than expected and he'll need another win or two before he's brought back in to title talks.
Despite the loss, Santos made a statement in this fight. Usually I'd say an 0-2 fight would be in jeopardy, but after staying competitive with McCall for 3 rounds, the UFC should give him another chance. Hopefully, for Santos, it'll be against someone closer to his skill level.
Watch it now, later, or never?
This one can wait. it was an alright fight and worth seeing, but nothing that requires your immediate attention.
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