Dan Ige Describes Benefits Of Training With Former Opponent

Dan Ige is in the midst of the most difficult run of his career, but he says training with one of his former opponents has helped him prepare to turn things around.

“50K” is currently slated to take on Damon Jackson in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 67. The fight was originally scheduled to just feature as part of the event’s main card, but the featherweights were bumped up to co-main event status after the welterweight contest between Geoff Neal and Shavkat Rakhmonov was called off.

Jackson will enter the bout riding a four-fight win streak that includes stopping Pat Sabatini in just over a minute last September. Ige has faced some of the UFC’s top featherweights during his last few fights but now finds himself on a three-fight losing skid, which is the first time the 31-year-old has lost consecutive bouts in his entire career.

Ige previously put together an impressive six-fight win streak before losing a decision to Calvin Kattar in 2020. In a recent interview with The Schmo, Ige discussed some of the benefits of having recently trained with Kattar, who is currently the UFC’s #7-ranked featherweight contender.

Kattar won a unanimous decision against Ige in 2020. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“Yeah, it was nice,” Ige said. “Calvin came out here for a few weeks before his last fight. And just to you know, put egos aside, put fighting aside and pick each other’s brains to get better, it was nice to train with him for two weeks. He was actually in here for one of my last sparrings and he was cornering me with Eric [Nicksick], so that was kind of cool as well. Just to have an outside voice, an outside person that’s not in my camp to like pick me apart and look at thing that he sees me doing in sparring as a former opponent. So it was really cool, you know?”

Ige Not Looking For Rematch With Kattar

Kattar has experienced his own run of adversity after losing a split decision to Josh Emmett followed by an injury TKO against Arnold Allen, but Ige hopes that both men benefited from their time training together.

“I think that’s what the sport is all about, we wanna – I don’t see us fighting anytime soon, but if we can make each other better then the progress is just gonna elevate competition, and that’s what I’m here for.”

“50K” will enter UFC Vegas 67 as the UFC’s #13-ranked featherweight and will need to halt the considerable momentum of Jackson, who is currently unranked but could end up with a number next to his name if he can best Ige for his fifth-straight victory.

UFC Vegas 67 was originally set to be headlined by middleweights Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov, but Gastelum was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a mouth injury. Sean Strickland has stepped in on short notice after previously headlining the UFC’s final event of 2022, and he and Imavov will now meet at 205lbs.

What do you think of Ige’s comments about the benefits of training with his former opponent Kattar?

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