Demetrious Johnson's personality is the reason to blame for the lack of people caring for the UFC's flyweight division, says Ian McCall.
The American fighter compared the long reigning and dominant champion to his coffee mug, telling The MMA Hour that it has more personality than Johnson. McCall's next fight could see him get a third title shot to face off against Johnson, who has beaten him twice via decision before, so he's starting the trash talk early.
The champ's responsibility
"I've come to the conclusion that, it's not racism, it's like small person-ism," McCall said of situation on Tuesday's edition of The MMA Hour.
"No one really gives a s**t about us, and it's true. I mean, maybe it's Demetrious' fault for not being the marketable guy, even though he's an amazing athlete."
McCall was speaking in reference to his position on the UFC Fight Night 58 card, where despite his fight being a possible title eliminator, he's third from the top bill.
He's below two light-heavyweight clashes and while Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua and Jimi Manuwa is an obvious choice as the main event, the choice of Ovince St. Preux vs. Francimar Barroso as co-main event is a blow to the flyweights.
Barroso is a relative unknown in the light heavyweight scene and while St Preux is ranked 14th, it's not a fight that has too much importance on it - something which angers McCall.
"It's BS because they don't push us like they should, and like you said, we are the two top guys going for the number-one contender fight. You'd think they would promote it more. Obviously Shogun is going to headline the card. Shogun is Shogun, everyone adores him, he's huge, he's an ex-champ. But it's like we're the stepchild no one cares about."
Johnson vs. Joe Rogan Coffee mug
"I don't mean to pick on him, but it does (fall on him)," McCall said. "The guy has the personality of my coffee mug. Actually, my coffee mug has more personality because it's a Joe Rogan coffee mug, so never mind. He doesn't do his job as far as marketing."
"The guy has the personality of my coffee mug. Actually, my coffee mug has more personality because it's a Joe Rogan coffee mug, so never mind. He doesn't do his job as far as marketing"
"We all know, he's awesome, he does great, he improves and whatever, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But this is entertainment.
"This is the entertainment business, and as a whole, the flyweight division, apparently we're not doing enough, so I'm just going to take it upon myself to beat the crap out of everybody, become champion, and then just start talking s**t like Conor McGregor and causing trouble."
What with Jose Aldo in order to try and create hype for his rematch with Chad Mendes before their fight at UFC 179, it's clear that the lighter weight divisions are facing pressure to build hype.
For McCall, it's started now with the controversial comments and calling out of Johnson, but he's going to have to back it up for people to care and with two losses to Johnson already, that's going to be very hard to do.