Calvin Kattar vs Dan Ige
Calvin Kattar (-310) (21-4-0)
Calvin Kattar is steadily rising in his fourth year in the UFC featherweight division. He’s an excellent boxer who throws long punches with good power. He’s coming off of an impressive 2nd round KO over Jeremy Stephens, the 11th of his career. Kattar has a tendency to start slow and will take some shots to get his own, but he’s also been extremely durable. He has solid takedown defense and he’s never been knocked out in his career. I was also very impressed with his performance traveling to Russia and taking on the #2 ranked featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov. He dropped the decision but he out-struck Zabit 127-100 and had him in deep waters down the stretch. This fight against Ige will be his first 5-rounder in the UFC and that should benefit his patient style. With a win, Kattar finds himself one step closer to the top of the featherweight division.
Dan Ige (+250) (14-2-0)
Dan Ige is already 2-0 in 2020 and believes a win over Kattar could launch him straight to a title shot. He’s oozing with confidence and is currently on a 6-fight win streak. “50k” Ige has an extremely exciting fighting style, he throws very tight combinations and likes to stand in the pocket. He’s had back to back split-decision wins and he’ll aim to be much more decisive against Kattar. In order to do so, he must start fast and jump on him early. Kattar starts slow and if Ige can land a few punches, he may be able to get the takedown. Once he gets the takedown, Ige has effective ground and pound and is very good at finding the rear naked choke. While it may not earn him a date with Volkanovski quite yet, a win over Kattar would put him firmly into the top-5 conversation at featherweight.
Prediction: Calvin Kattar via 4th Round KO/TKO
This is an excellent top-10 matchup and should be a very exciting main event. Both of these fighters picked up wins in May when the UFC first returned to Jacksonville, so don’t expect the testing and travel to be a major factor for either. Both men are riding serious momentum and they can capitalize with another win in a stagnant featherweight division.
The difference maker in this matchup is Kattar’s size and power advantage. Kattar has strong takedown defense and unless Ige drops him, I don’t see him getting this fight to the ground. He should be able to pick up on Ige’s speed and stay just out of range, keeping him on the ends of his punches. There’s a lot of power on the ends of those punches and I expect it to wear on Ige as the fight progresses. Ige has deceptive power as well but he only has three knockouts to his name, and only one in the UFC over Mike Santiago back in 2018. Kattar is going to take some damage and Ige may have some success early on but the power discrepancy in Kattar’s favor is going to be too much. Take Kattar by KO/TKO (+100).