Dan Ige Makes Fresh Plea For Diego Lopes Rematch With ‘Equal Opportunity To Prepare’ At Sphere-Held UFC 306

Should Diego Lopes not get the names he’s after at UFC 306, Dan Ige has called for the chance to face him again on the back of a full camp.

Had plans not changed in a dramatic way late last month, Ige would currently being gearing up for a collision at the Apex with Chepe Mariscal on July 20. Instead, “50K” is drinking in widespread acclaim for his efforts on the grand stage of UFC 303.

Ige awoke on June 29 with no expectation to fight at the International Fight Week pay-per-view in Las Vegas. But when illness forced Brian Ortega out of his co-main event against Lopes, the always game featherweight veteran answered the call.

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And the Hawaiian fought competitively across three rounds against Lopes in their 165-pound catchweight contest, which marked the third different weight for the Mexico-based Brazilian during fight week.

The 32-year-old ultimately fell short on the scorecards, but you’d do well to find someone seeing him as a loser on the night. Ige’s decision to save the day at T-Mobile Arena also no doubt banked him some good faith with the UFC, and he’s hoping to cash that in on September 14…

Ige Suggests Fans Would Love Second Lopes Fight On Full Camps

In the aftermath of his extremely late-notice battle with Lopes, Ige dismissed talk of staying on the July 20 lineup and instead requested a spot on the Noche UFC card, set for the Sphere in Las Vegas this fall.

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Lopes had the same event in his crosshairs, calling for either a rescheduled showdown with Ortega or a matchup with former champion Alexander Volkanovski.

In a recent post on social media, Ige acknowledged that Lopes deserves a top five name like “T-City” or “Alexander the Great.” But should that not come to fruition, he’d love nothing more than the chance to face the rising star with a full preparation in tow.

“I heard Yair is still climbing Mt. Everest and won’t be ready for the sphere,” Ige wrote. “Diego you deserve a higher rank for sure but if you don’t get what you want then I’m sure the fans would love to see us run it back with full camps and equal opportunity to prepare. What better place then make history again at the sphere 🫡 🇲🇽 #NocheUFC #fightersfight#stayready

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Prior to his loss at the hands of Lopes, Ige opened his account for 2024 in brutal fashion, stopping Andre Fili in the first round at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Pyfer this past February.

Lopes, meanwhile, has now won all four of his fights since an impressive showing in defeat on debut against Movsar Evloev last May.