Dan Ige is looking to prove to everyone he is as dangerous as ever at UFC Vegas 67.
Ige is set to return in the co-main event against Damon Jackson in a pivotal fight for his career as he’s on a three-fight losing skid. Last time out, he dropped a decision to Movsar Evloev. It was a tough loss for him, and he wanted to return right away, but that didn’t happen.
“I came out of that fight with no injuries, just my ego and soul were a little hurt,” Ige said to Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I trained really hard for that one, I had a 17-week training camp and put all my resources into it. Like, I had trained with Khabib and the Russians for a month, I went up to Colorado and trained with Justin Gaethje for a month and did eight weeks in Vegas. It was a lot of emotional build-up preparing for one guy for that long and it didn’t go my way. I felt I had put in so much work I got right back into it.
“There were talks of me fighting Shane Burgos at MSG but he signed with the PFL and then there were talks of me fighting a couple of other guys,” Ige continued. “I was just getting ready, and I was offered to fight Ilia Toupria on December 10 I thought that would happen, but he fought Bryce Mitchell. I was just on the backburner preparing and the Damon Jackson fight came along in January. It works out perfectly as I get to fight on the same card as one of my best friends growing up in Puna Soriano. We went to high school together, competed in college against each other, we started MMA together and we have never competed on the same card together as an amateur or as pros. We grew up talking about fighting together in the UFC as kids and now here we are.”
Once Ige got the fight against Jackson, the Hawaiian knew he can’t overlook Jackson because he’s not ranked. Although Ige has only been fighting top guys, he says Jackson is on the level of Evloev, Emmett, and Korean Zombie.
With that, Ige is expecting a tough fight, which is what he wants as he wants to prove he still belongs in the top 15.
“He’s a guy that you can’t underestimate. I think people overlook him and I do think that is a reason for his success as he wants to make it known he is dangerous,” Ige said. “I treat him no less than any guy I have fought, he is the same for me. He has done very well and has been on a tear and finishing guys.”
If Dan Ige can perform at his best, he believes in all likelihood that means he gets the stoppage win. Along with that, he says the plan is to be in a free state of mind and stop worrying so much and thinking so much in the fight which he thinks has hindered him in the past.
“I want to do everything possible to just perform at my best and be in a free state of mind. I’ve been there before and I know I can get there again, I just have to go out there and trust in the process and trust in the work I’ve put in,” Ige said. “Just do my thing and do what I am capable of, remember who I am. This is not me vs. Damon, this is me vs. me. I’m dangerous everywhere, my mind is dangerous, my body is a weapon and I’m ready to go out there and kill someone.”
Should Ige get his hand raised at UFC Vegas 67, he isn’t sure who would be next. But, instead, he believes it will prove he still is a top-ranked featherweight.
“Honestly, it is not going to move me up or down, but that is not something I’m focused on. But it will be a reminder that I am still here and I’m still a force to be reckoned with,” Ige said. “I know I’m a top-five fighter, I may or may not have shown that, but I know I am and what I’m capable of.”
Do you think Dan Ige will beat Damon Jackson at UFC Vegas 67?