Dan Ige knows his UFC 269 fight against Josh Emmett has all the makings to be the Fight of the Night and one of the best fights of the year.
After Ige dropped a decision to Korean Zombie back in June, he wasn’t sure what would be next for him. He thought he would have to fight someone ranked below him, yet when he got the fight offer to face Emmett it was an immediate yes.
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“When they called me with the Emmett fight I was surprised. My mind was thinking smaller because I was coming off a loss and I wasn’t sure in my mind how the company thought about me. I figured I would fight someone below me so I was mentally prepared for anyone, even guys outside the rankings,” Ige said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “When they called me I was surprised. But, I am stoked for the opportunity because it is another chance to climb the ladder. It’s a great fight stylistically, it’s a fan-friendly fight. We both bring it and we try to finish out guys and we are both tough to put away.”
Against Emmett, Ige knows they are very evenly matched up. He knows they are very similar in their styles given they are both strikers who have KO power but they can also wrestle. Yet, for the Hawaiian, he says his timing and activity will be a factor in this fight at UFC 269.
“It’s an MMA fight. I have the tools and he has the tools to take the fight wherever it goes,” Ige explained. “It’s really going to come down to who is the smarter fighter, who has the better footwork and better angles and can land their shots. That is where I believe my vision, my timing, and my activity will be to my advantage.”
Although Dan Ige knows both he and Josh Emmett have what it takes to take it to the ground, he doesn’t think that will happen. Instead, he is expecting a war and says it could even be like Gaethje-Chandler as both of them won’t want to take a step backward.
If it is a back-and-forth war, Ige knows both he and Emmett could be knocked out, yet he knows they are both very durable. Regardless of the outcome, Ige knows he will the one with his hand being raised of the outcome.
“The dude is super tough. In his last fight, he tore his ACL in the first minute against a hard-hitting Shane Burgos and fought through the entire fight, and won it,” Ige said. “I’m not taking away his toughness, if I go and get a nice knockout like the Gavin Tucker KO, great. It’s not what I prepare for, I prepare for the hardest motherf****r to put away. I’m expecting a Gaethje-Chandler type of war. If you are not preparing for that you are going to crumble when it does happen. We are so evenly matched and both can throw heat and wrestle offensively and defensively and we both have the ability to knock each other out. It will be an insane fight for the fans and I’m looking to come out victorious.”
With Emmett being ranked seventh at featherweight, Ige knows this win would be big for him. However, he says he doesn’t care about where it puts him in the division or what is next. Instead, he is only focused on Emmett and his fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“I really try not to emphasize that too much. In my last fight, I got caught up thinking about if I beat Zombie I get a title shot or a title eliminator,” Ige concluded. “I have to just focus on this fight, so I’m not looking past this fight. I have a tough guy ahead of me and if I beat him it’s put me at seven. All I know is I’m climbing the ladder.”
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