Photo By Rick Lee
What inspired you to grow your epic stache?
It started because I tried to grow out this huge beard, but it didn’t really work. As a joke, I decided to keep the mustache and shave everything else. I thought it looked awesome, so I kept the mustache, and it just kind of grew into what it is now.
You also have a strong ink game working. When did you start getting tattoos?
I was probably 20 years old when I started, and I’ve been getting them ever since. Now it’s to the point where I know I’m just going to keep getting them. Next, I’m getting tattooed by my buddy who owns Newport Tattoo. He is going to be at the Musink Music Festival in a couple of weeks. I’m going to be hanging out, signing autographs, and getting tattooed. It should be fun.
Where did your popular “Uncle Creepy” nickname come from?
It came from my nephew. He usually calls me Uncle Ian, but he called me Uncle Creepy one night and it stuck.
Had your fighting career not taken off, what would you be doing?
I would probably be in the car business because my family has done that forever. I used to own a transportation business, where we would transport used cars to dealerships. Coming from that background and having a very business savvy family, I would probably be running some sort of car operation.
How do you keep your sanity and balance between training full-time and competing on the world’s biggest stage?
It’s all about my daughter. She is my inspiration to fight and the reason I try so hard. It’s all her. I have another mouth to feed, and I have to make sure she is taken care of. I have to do this.
You’re fighting out of Orange County, and a lot of people consider the Huntington Beach area to be the epicenter of MMA. What’s it been like to be a part of that scene and watch the sport blow up like it has over the past 10 years?
Don’t say Huntington, man. Huntington is a horrible place. I hate Huntington Beach. I live in Irvine now, but I’m from Dana Point—The Father Land. The sport is huge here. There are great fans and a lot of talented fighters. It’s just nice to have so many quality gyms in such a small area. Huntington isn’t even Orange County. I look at it as the Riverside of Orange County. I really have a huge distaste for Huntington Beach.
Why no love for Huntington?
Every time I go there, everyone is fucking mean and nasty. It just sucks, man. It’s the Detroit of Orange County
I know you’re friends with Joseph Benavidez outside of the cage. But in your last fight, he blasted you with a kick below the belt. Any plans on returning the favor to Joe when you see him next?
I haven’t watched the fight yet, but I know I didn’t fight like I should have. He dictated the pace the entire time and that’s not how I fight. I go out and dictate the pace. I need to kick and punch him and do a lot more work the next time I fight him.
When can fight fans expect to see Uncle Creepy return to the cage?
I’d like to get back out there as soon as possible. I’m already back to work in the gym. I’m looking to fight whenever the UFC asks me to. I could literally be ready in a couple of weeks. I just need to get my head straight. That’s been my biggest issue. I’ve been dealing with personal problems, and I let them affect me, which I shouldn’t have. But they did, and that’s my own fault. Next time, that won’t happen. When they call, I’ll be ready.