Dan Ige was preparing to face someone else besides Ryan Hall.
Ige was originally supposed to face Hall at UFC Vegas 21 on March 13. However, even as the fight drew closer, he had a feeling the grappling wizard would pull out which would be the case. After Hall pulled out, Ige made it clear he wanted to be on this card and will now take on Gavin Tucker.
“I had a weird feeling he was going to pull out from the beginning. I don’t know why, I just had this strange feeling,” Ige said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “It was weird, but I was already mentally preparing to face anyone, no matter who on March 13. When he did pull out, I was prepared for it and we got a new opponent in Gavin Tucker. I was ready to face anyone, but now my eyes and my mind are focused on Tucker.”
Although Ige didn’t get a ranked opponent, for the Hawaiian he didn’t care. Instead, he just wanted to fight and believes his wins will do the talking, instead of holding out hope to fight someone ranked above him.
“I respect the rankings and whatnot, but there are a lot of guys who will sit out because they don’t want to fight below them and that’s kind of bulls**t,” Ige explained. “I’ve always been open to fighting anyone, wins do the talking. Gavin is a tough kid, and I’m sure anyone else in the top-15 would fight Gavin because he isn’t ranked and they could lose their number. I will show why I am number nine.”
Entering the fight, Dan Ige knows Tucker poses some problems. The Canadian is very well-rounded and Ige believes they are very similar. However, for the Hawaiian, he knows he has to get back into the win column and remind the featherweight division how good he is.
Not only does Ige plan on reminding the division he is a top-10 featherweight for a reason, but he’s also confident he will beat Tucker anywhere this fight goes.
“He is a good solid kid. He has been in Vegas a few times and I’ve talked to him. He’s a technical brawler and well-rounded,” Dan Ige said. “I’m excited about the matchup, we are also pretty similar stature-wise. We are both black belts, we both have good judo backgrounds, I’m excited about it.
“I’m planning and preparing to beat him anywhere the fight goes. As much as I respect him, I can’t have that respect when we go in there to compete,” Ige continued. “When I go in there, I have to put on a show. It’s an MMA fight, I have to mix things up and I will show everything and show off my improvements.”
If Dan Ige ends up doing what he thinks and getting his hand raised, he isn’t sure who or when he would fight next. He is expecting a child in April and will spend time with the family, but he is still planning to have three fights in 2021.
“I will take a little time off. I owe my wife that. At least a couple of months off, but it is too hard to say when I’d fight again. A win over Gavin and having the kid, I’d want to get back in there in the early fall. I do still plan on fighting three times this year,” Ige concluded.
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