Written by Jack Zampillo (@Jack_Zampillo15) — July 14th, 2020
Fighting atop one of the deepest divisions in the UFC, rising featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige are set to headline Fight Island’s first fight night. A scrap that is sure to turn heads, Kattar and Ige come in with heavy chips on their shoulders looking to stake their claims in the title picture. With current champion Alexander Volkanovski removing Max Holloway from that picture for the foreseeable future, the door for the next title shot is wide open. A statement win from either one of these exciting 145ers is sure to kindle their chances for UFC gold.
Boston’s Calvin Kattar has impressed since storming onto the scene in 2017, winning 5 of his first 7 UFC bouts. With 11 career wins by (T)KO, Kattar’s forte is clear: He puts guys to sleep. “The Boston Finisher” relies on crisp boxing exchanges in the pocket, where he has found most of his success. Kattar tends to get better as his fights go on, once he instills fear into his opponents, who know that nap time could come at any time. Not only is Calvin powerful with his hands, but is so fluent in making reads and knowing when and when not to throw night-ending flurries. That’s what makes him so good. He’s not your typical knockout artist. While one could say Kattar’s game is one-dimensional, the technicality of his approach makes up for it. The results don’t lie.
Standing across from Kattar will be the underrated force that is Dan Ige. Ige, an apprentice of former two-division UFC champion Randy Couture, is riding the momentum of the biggest win of his career to date, and feels that he is ready to succeed against the top of the division. The self-proclaimed “Fifty K” boasts a record of 14–2 with 3 wins by (T)KO and 5 via submission. When matching these two up stylistically, Ige is the more polished fighter who has more ways to win this fight than Kattar. Ige does a great job of using kicks and wrestling threats to keep his opponents guessing. His wide variety of attacks could help to neutralize the power that Calvin Kattar brings to the table. This is Dan Ige’s coming out party. With a win over Edson Barboza already on his resume, prevailing over a guy as talked about as Kattar will put the entire division on notice.
Boston stand up! I’m taking the favorite, Calvin Kattar, by a 3rd or 4th round finish. Listen, Dan Ige is a problem and has the ability to find a lot of success at this weight class, but I don’t think he’s there just yet. Calvin Kattar is riding all of the momentum in the world. Knocking out Jeremy Stephens the way he did answered a lot of questions pertaining to his legitimacy. Calvin Kattar is a top-5 featherweight and he’s only getting better. Ige will learn a lot about himself in this fight, and Kattar will find himself at the center of title shot conversations.