Dan Ige really had to work for the win against Jordan Griffin in a fight full of scrambles and some creative positions at UFC Milwaukee.
While Bellator was busy putting on their second of back-to-back shows in Honolulu on Saturday, Hawaiian Dan Ige was in chilly Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, he was set to throw down with fellow featherweight Jordan Griffin, opening up the UFC on FOX 31 televised card. UFC Milwaukee was the promotional debut for Griffin, a King of the Cage veteran. He entered the bout off a four-fight win streak, including an appearance on the Contender Series.
Griffin and Ige both came out looking to work their jab early, and each was looking to dictate the pace. However, before long Ige had Griffin down, with Griffin on his side, covering up to avoid some heavy ground and pound. Submissions were a threat, but Ige then moved to mount, scoring more ground and pound, with Griffin showing some serious damage. Griffin, however, slipped out the back, and was able to catch Ige’s neck for a guillotine attempt. That, however, came up short, and Ige once again wound up in mount. He would work to trap an arm, and later take the back, but once again he was too high up, and Griffin managed to escape. On the feet, Griffin began firing head kicks, and the two began swinging away until the buzzer sounded to end the round.
What an end to round one! #UFCMilwaukee pic.twitter.com/QUrApFEA2n
— UFC (@ufc) December 15, 2018
Ige would secure an early takedown in the second. That put him in side control, from which he worked in a short elbow then tried to control Griffin’s wrists. Griffin, again, showed how adept he was at escaping, at least until Ige dragged him back down. Griffin, however, scrambled, nearly taking the back of Ige, and briefly getting his arm under the chin. Another scramble saw Griffin end up in Ige’s guard. At that point, Ige vs. Griffin was akin to watching the spin cycle. Griffin then moved to his feet, dropping punches while Ige remained on his back, firing upkicks. Ige would roll for an ankle lock late, but they’d head to the third round.
That third round saw both men a little worse for the wear. Along with that came an ever-so-slightly slower pace, at least through the first two minutes. Then, following a quick exchange, Ige shot in for the takedown, and converted it. If Ige could control from that point, it could be big, but throughout the bout Griffin’s ability to scramble had proven key. He would free himself, but off a later scramble, Ige clutched for an ankle, and the pair wound up tangled on the ground, Ige’s head briefly trapped between Griffin’s legs until he pulled free. Ige would fire a knee as Griffin stood up, and controlled the action as the round wore down, taking the back and getting at least one hook in briefly.
Not surprisingly, Ige took the win on all three scorecards, much to the displeasure of the local crowd, who had Griffin’s back.
Dan Ige def. Jordan Griffin by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)