Currently riding a five-fight win streak and ranked inside the top-15 in the UFC’s featherweight division, Dan Ige is only looking to the top as he moves forward. Yet Ige knows he’s got more to prove as he continues on his journey to become featherweight champion.
In an exclusive interview with BJPenn.com, Ige discussed who he’d like to face next in the division, and he’s looking at the newly re-signed Shane Burgos. Ige says he believes a fight with Burgos is one that will definitely entertain fans.
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“I just want fan-favorite fights, exciting fights, fights that are going to get people talking, fights that are really going to propel me to that next level,” Ige said. “I think Eric [Nicksick] said we were talking about Shane Burgos. That guy’s a stud, he comes out and brings it, he goes straight to the middle, won’t shoot a takedown, he’s just going to freaking bang with you, and he’s [ranked] number 10 in the world. A guy like Burgos, that’s the fight you got to make, that’s a fan-favorite fight, it’s going to make noise, people are going to watch and I know that fight can really take me to the next level so that’s one we are definitely leaning towards.”
On his mission to show that he is the best featherweight in the world, Ige notes there are plenty of great fighters in the division, but he’s only focused on taking on the best there are to offer.
“There’s a lot of studs out there in the division but I want to fight the best guys in the world,” he said. “I want to show that I’m the best and in order to show that I’m the best, I have to beat the best guys. Burgos is definitely one of those guys, he’s got a lot of potential to go out there and be a champion but in order to be the champion you have to beat guys like him.”
With his eyes on Burgos as his next opponent, Ige says it’s nothing but respect between the two and that’s a fight that he sees himself getting excited for.
“Nothing personal against him at all, he’s a great guy,” he said. “We actually talked a few weeks ago in early March, I saw him at the PI [UFC Performance Institute] and I was kind of chatting with him and I told him I had a feeling we were going to get matched up. He wasn’t under contract at the time but it’s just a mutual respect thing. I know he has respect for me and I have respect for him but when we get into that cage it’s a guaranteed barn-burner, that’s something that definitely gets me up, excited, and motivated.”
Having just fought at UFC 247, Ige detailed how he’s adjusting through the COVID-19 pandemic and at first was eyeing anywhere from at least three fights in 2020, but that remains to be seen with UFC events up in the air as of now.
What do you think of a potential fight between Dan Ige and Shane Burgos?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/1/2020