Dan Ige says KO of Andre Fili was “pretty gangster,” eyes return at The Sphere against any ranked featherweight

By Cole Shelton - February 20, 2024

Dan Ige returned to the win column in a big way at UFC Vegas 86.

Dan Ige

Ige was fighting in the co-main event as he took on short-notice replacement Andre Fili. The Hawaiian was originally supposed to fight Lerone Murphy, but the Brit was forced out of the bout. Fili ended up being the replacement opponent, which was tough for Ige as he says the two are friends and have trained together in the past.

“You have to put it aside, even interviews, I didn’t want to do any interviews. It wasn’t a fight I wanted to talk about. I knew the fight would kind of sell itself, and I just had to separate that friendship mentality and get in there and handle my business, and that’s what I did,” Ige said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com.

Although Ige had to put his friendship behind him, he knew the style matchup against Fili at UFC Vegas 86 was a good one for him.

Dan Ige ended up scoring a first-round KO win over Andre Fili, which is something the Hawaiian says he had a dreamt about.

“What’s weird is I had a dream and I have never had super specific dreams, I had a dream I knocked him out with that same punch in that same scenario,” Dan Ige said. “I tried not to hyper-focus on that and force it, I just saw the window of opportunity and I threw it. Because he is a taller guy, I kept on seeing me get under him and throwing a right hand over the top. I saw it all through training camp, I spar a lot with Julian Erosa, he’s a taller guy and I’d land it on him. So, I knew I could land that punch…

“I hit him, I dropped him, I saw his head hit the canvas, his eyes were kind of rolling back and I gave Herzog a split second to jump in. I had to seal the deal and I knew that one punch more, yeah it was extra, but it was also pretty gangster,” Ige later added.

With Ige getting another stoppage win, he believes it sends a reminder to everyone that he still is a player in the featherweight division. He also would like to return at The Sphere in September, as he says it would be cool to be on that historic card.

“The sky is the limit. I have earned some time to sit and wait to see what happens and enjoy some time with the family. I’m going to get used to that life and sit and wait for a good opportunity,” Ige said. “I said in the post-fight press conference, I’d like to step back in late summer, or early fall, I like The Sphere card, it just sounds cool. I’m not hype fixated on it, but that is enough time to sit and wait to see what happens with some other fights.”

Ultimately, Ige says the plan is to spend time with his family as he’s about to welcome his second child. When he does return, the hope for Ige is to fight someone ranked above him next time out.

“A guy above would be nice. I’m not going to pout about it if it doesn’t happen, but I think I deserve it and I think the UFC wants that to happen. They have invested a lot in him, I have had 16 fights under the UFC banner and I’m starting to show some true potential that I can beat anyone in the division,” Ige concluded.