This fight is my sleeper pick for UFC 247’s entire card.
This is a match up between two highly talented fighters who are looking to break into the top ten ranks of the UFC’s featherweight division.
Honolulu, Hawaii native, Dan Ige (12-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is currently the 19th ranked fighter in the featherweight division. He looks to take on Bosnia’s own, 12th ranked featherweight, Mirsad Bektic (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC). This will be the second fight of UFC 247’s PPV card.
A closer look
The MMA record isn’t the only similar characteristic among these two fighters. Both Ige and Bektic share nearly an identical height and reach going into this fight.
To add to the similarities between the two, both possess elite boxing and grappling skills as well as a high paced fighting style. In addition, neither fighter is afraid to stand in the middle and exchange punches and kicks. Look for this to be a potential fight of the night come Saturday night.
The similarities don’t stop there. As I mentioned before, both fighters are looking to break into the featherweight divisions top ten rankings. Although neither fighter is currently ranked in the top ten, a victory would give the winner a good chance at getting a fight against someone ranked in the top ten for their next fight.
Ahead of UFC 247, Bektic talked to Mike Bohn with MMA Junkie about how overtraining may have been a problem for him in the past and how he’s made a lot of changes in the training camp going into this fight.
“What I did most differently is I worked a lot smarter and in some peoples eyes, a lot less,” said Bektic. “That’s probably why fans and promotions haven’t seen me in action quite as much, because of injuries and you know, my own ego getting the better of me and overworking.”
Bektic went on to mention that he’s feeling confident going into this fight and he thinks this is a great match up for him stylisticly.
“I think Dan is a phenomenal match up for me. As soon as I heard about that offer, we took it,” said Bektic. “As soon as I found out about him, (I) checked out his style, love it,” Bektic added. “I love the stylistical matchup and I’m very excited to go out there and showcase the Mirsad everyone knows.”
Bektic is coming off a loss in his last contest and looks to get back in the win column with a victory against Ige on Saturday night, live on pay-per-view.
Ige seems to hold a mental advantage going into the fight on Saturday. Acknowledging that the match up is very similar stylistically, he has stated that this fight will come down to the mental aspect of who wants it more. Ige feels he’s been written off in the past and intends to show everyone who he is against Bektic.
“I kind of feel (that) I get written off a lot, you know. My name gets brushed under the rug and I just feel that I want it more than anyone right now and I’m gonna go out there and everyone will see Saturday night. That’s what a lot of fights come down to is who wants it more, and I want it more,” said Ige in an interview with MMA Junkie’s, Mike Bohn.
“We’re actually pretty similar, you know. He comes forward, he’s a heavy hitter, athletic, strong, good grappler, good wrestler, and I’m everything. I’m everything that he is and more. I surpass him in the mental aspect, and that’s where I’m stronger than anyone in this game,” said Ige.
Going into Saturday’s contest, Ige is riding a four-fight winning streak in the UFC’s featherweight division. A victory against Bektic gets Ige one step closer to a title shot against current featherweight champ, Alex Volkanovski.