The Rizin promotion started its bantamweight grand prix a few months back and recently they have revealed their wildcard competitor for the tournament. That wildcard competitor is none other than Ian McCall, who recently got released from his UFC contract.
McCall’s quarterfinal round opponent is going to be Manel Kape, who just defeated Erson Yamamoto at Rizin 7 to advance to the quarterfinals. The two will clash at Rizin 8 on December 29, with the winner having to possibly fight twice more on December 31 to win the whole tournament.
It has been almost three years since McCall last competed, which was a unanimous decision loss to John Lineker at UFC 183 in January 2015. McCall had several fights scheduled after that, but his own injuries and opponents falling through kept the fights from coming to fruition.
There was little success for McCall during his run in the UFC, having won just two of the six fights he competed at in the promotion. Those two wins did come over the duo of Iliarde Santos and Brad Pickett, both wins came by way of decision. He did, however, come the closest to ever defeating Demetrious Johnson at Flyweight, when the two went to a draw.
Rizin 8 takes place on Friday, December 29 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on Fite TV.
The move was predicted on last week's Holy Smokes MMA Podcast with Sean Ross Sapp and Showdown Joe, which you can check out every Tuesday at 3 PM EST.