MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC on ESPN 13, a five-round featherweight bout between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige. The event takes place on Wednesday, July 15 on Fight Island at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Calvin Kattar (-290)
Kattar (21-4) is the No. 6 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 32-year-old American joined the UFC in 2017 and has since racked up a 5-2 record in the Octagon with wins over Jeremy Stephens, Andre Fili, Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos, and Chris Fishgold, with losses to Renato Moicano and Zabit Magomedsharipov. Kattar is primarily a standup fighter and he has excellent boxing and legitimate KO power. Out of his 21 career wins, 11 have come by knockout, including knockouts in his last four UFC victories. He hasn’t really had to use his wrestling much but overall he has enough grappling to keep his fights on the feet where he does his best work. He also has solid cardio and a great chin, having not been knocked out in 25 career MMA fights. Kattar is quickly rising up the featherweight rankings and a big win here over Ige would get him closer to the elite of the division.
Dan Ige (+245)
Ige (14-2) is the No. 10 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 28-year-old American is 6-1 overall in the UFC with wins over Edson Barboza, Mirsad Bektic, Kevin Aguilar, Danny Henry, Jordan Griffin, and Mike Santiago, and a loss to Julio Arce. After being scouted on the first season of the Contender Series, Ige has quickly made a name for himself in one of the most stacked divisions in the entire UFC. Ige is a well-rounded fighter capable of standing and trading on the feet when he has to, but he does his best work on the ground. When he’s at his best, Ige is mixing up his striking and wrestling and pushing a hard pace on his opponents which allows him to go the distance and win decisions. He is certainly a tough out and can beat the majority of mid-tier fighters, but stepping up in competition to fight someone like Kattar may be a tall order for the Hawaii native.
Fight Breakdown: I’ve been riding high on Ige for a while but the train stops here. I just don’t like this matchup for him one bit against Kattar, who I rate as one of the best featherweights on the planet right now. Although Ige has serviceable standup, I don’t think he can hang with Kattar on the feet. Kattar has huge knockout power and he has five rounds to get the finish in this fight, which I believe he has a high possibility of getting. Ige does have the advantage on the ground if the fight goes to the mat, but I believe Kattar will be able to thwart any takedown attempts and keep this fight standing. And on the feet, I just see Kattar outstriking Ige en route to another big knockout victory.
Prediction: Calvin Kattar wins via TKO