Dan Ige tool home a controversial split decision on Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 8. Ige took the fight on the scorecards. UFC President Dana White gave it to opponent Edson Barboza. Fans were split, but then, finding consensus among MMA fans is virtually impossible anyway.
To throw out the most overused quote in all of sports, it is what it is. What it really is, however, is a sixth straight win for Hawaii’s Ige (14-2). One that should earn him an opponent higher up the rankings.
He suggested a few names following the bout. Among them, The Korean Zombie. It’s a fight that’s hard not to like. After all, there’s rarely a boring fight when Chan Sung Jung is involved.
Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press at a virtual post-fight media scrum, Ige tackled the Zombie subject. “My last fight, he said he didn’t know who I was. I think he should now. I think that’s a that’s a good fight.”
The why of that is quite simple. “That guy’s a banger. He’s a zombie. He has no soul. He comes out, he just, he goes for the kill. And that’s what I do.”
Ultimately, that’s the type of fighter Ige wants to throw down with, he added. “We’re warriors. We’re going to go out there and try to kill each other in an exciting fight. You can make it a three round a five round, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready for anything and anyone.”
Dana White may have suggested Barboza deserved the win at the post-fight press conference, but the UFC President sung a different tune when Ige spoke to him.
“He was happy. He was happy with my performance,” he revealed. Ige would go on to call himself a company guy — one with a new contract. “I’m super stoked I got a new deal with the UFC. Just fought my first fight on my new deal. I’m happy, I’m honored to be here. And I’m just going to keep growing, keep growing with the company and keep getting better. As I invest my time in the company, they’ll invest their time into me. So I’m just happy.”
Of course, being a Hawaiian in the featherweight division presents some problems. Popular Hawaiian Max Holloway was long the king of the mountain there. And he has a title shot upcoming upcoming against Alexander Volkanovski.
“I mean, my target is not Max obviously. I’m rooting for the kid. He’s my friend,” said Ige. “We used to train together, we don’t train together there anymore. But you know if it ever came to it, I’m gonna fight anyone for the title. If he’s the champion. I’m gonna fight him. It’s not a disrespectful thing.”
As Ige pointed out, he was also friends with Edson Barboza. Even picked him up at the airport back in December, “picked up his bags, put them in the back of my truck.” A fight with Holloway would be no different. “We can hug have a couple beers after but that’s why I’m in this sport. I want to be the best. I want to be the champion.”
Watch the full UFC on ESPN 8 post-fight virtual media scrum with Dan Ige above!