Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige delivered in the main event of UFC Fight Island 1, throwing down on the feet for 25 minutes with Kattar coming out on top.
The main event of UFC Fight Island 1 on Saturday was an interesting match-up in the promotion’s featherweight division. With champ Alexander Volaknovski narrowly getting past Max Holloway for the second time just four days ago, there was a world of opportunity at 145lbs. Enter Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige.
Neither men were household names just yet, but both had begun to make waves in the weight class. A win Wednesday, coupled with several other key players in the division being idle, could give way to a little extra upward mobility as the division sorts itself out.
In other words, while a win would be unlikely to bring a title shot with it, it would certainly move one man into legitimate contention. A fight away, perhaps.
The first round opened with some range finding. Ige opened with a slight right hand. Kattar feinting and patient in the first round. Kattar began firing uppercuts with a strong left landing. Ige looked for the takedown which did not land. Kattar continued controlling the Octagon with under two minutes in the round. It was Kattar that took down Ige after catching a kick, and stood over him, landing a massive jab. A sidekick to the midsection landed for Kattar. Round one ended with some wild hooks from both fighters.
Kattar controlled the first round, and landed effective damage on Ige. Ige landed a beautiful combo ending with a body shot. Kattar then landed a clean one-two combination, but a counter left from Dan Ige may have caused the most damage. Ige opened up the nose of Kattar, which may have been compromised from the Jeremy Stephens fight only a few months ago. Kattar began to get back to his range, landing his dangerous jab on Ige. Both fighters landed big combinations in the final minute of the round.
Round three opened with more of the same, each fighter exchanging and landing on their opponent. Ige began to use leg kicks to obstruct Kattar’s boxing. Ige slipped away from a vicious Kattar hook, but Kattar backed him up against the fence and landed a few strong body shots. Ige feinted and landed a beautiful right jab. The end of the round saw the two exchanging technical positioning and the bell rung alongside a Kattar leg kick. An extremely close round.
The fourth round opened with jabs from Ige, and a short lived takedown of Kattar. Kattar landed a huge shot and Ige slipped up against the cage and found himself in a tough position. As the two stood back up, the two again exchanged jabs. Ige attempted a superman punch that missed. Kattar landed a clean left jab on Ige that stiffened the Hawaiin for a second. Both men exchanged leg kicks as Ige slipped again. Kattar missed on the level-change of Ige with a big uppercut as the round closed. We saw a fifth.
Kattar and Ige met in the middle for the final round. Ige missed and Kattar took advantage with a right. Ige loaded up on a right and Kattar’s defense was superb. Ige attacked the body of Kattar halfway through the final round. Ige attempted another takedown of the Massachusetts boy, and Kattar stuffed it again. Ige continued to pressure Kattar but had a tough time landing. Kattar again stuffed a takedown as the fight came to an end.
Calvin Kattar takes home the victory on Fight Island. Kattar’s second win during the pandemic, his activity is making his case for a shot at gold even more legitimate. With the rest of the top five relatively inactive, if Volkanovski or Holloway wants a quick turnaround, there is a guy from New England looking for a partner.
Calvin Kattar def. Dan Ige by Unanimous Decision (49-46 x2, 48-47)