UFC Vegas 79: Bryce Mitchell’s Grappling Carries Him Over Dan Ige, Donates $5k To Hawaii

Bryce Mitchell and Dan Ige, UFC Vegas 79
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 23: (R-L) Bryce Mitchell battles Dan Ige in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 23, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Grappling specialist and all-around character Bryce Mitchell looked to rebound from his first loss as a professional when he took on Dan Ige in the UFC Vegas 79 co-main event.

Bryce came in ranked tenth in the featherweight division after his devastating loss to budding star Ilia Topuria while Dan Ige was twelfth after rebounding from a losing streak with two straight wins against unranked foes Nate Landwehr and Damon Jackson. While Bryce is widely known as an elite wrestler/grappler, Ige is known a striker but does have well-rounded skills. As a result, most fans thought that Mitchell would need to get takedowns consistently to win the fight while Ige would want to stay standing.

Bryce Mitchell came out southpaw in his one-of-a-kind camoflauge patterned Venum shorts against Ige, who landed a nice left hook early on. Just past the one minute mark Mitchell landed a right hand and instantly level changed, getting Ige’s butt to the canvas initially but Dan kept his posture, did not settle on his back, and got back to his feet. When they got back to the feet he landed a right, after which blood appeared on the cheek of Mitchell. Bryce shot again soon after and got Ige down with his chain wrestling after an initial failure, but Ige popped back up with the whizzer and escaped from the clinch.

Ige landed a left straight as he ate a groin kick but he brushed it off and accepted his foe’s apologies. Bryce shot again and got to the rear body-lock. Dan tried to turn to face Mitchell but got tripped and mounted. Ige almost escaped with an explosive bridge effort but Bryce stayed on top and landed ground strikes until the bell.

The second round started with Ige landing a big left hook followed by a right that made Bryce fall back to the fence. However he recovered quickly and dove for Ige’s legs, almost getting a takedown but eventually settling for clinch control, which Dan quickly escaped from. The blood on the right side of Mitchell’s face got much worse as a new cut opened up above his eye. Ige landed another big left hook ninety seconds into the round and after that the referee called for the doctor to look at the cut of Bryce Mitchell. His eye was close to being completely shut as it swelled but the doctor cleared him to fight.

When the fight resumed, Mitchell dove for a takedown but ate a shot and fell to his back, seemingly content to play guard. Ige got on top only briefly before calling his foe back to the striking realm. Suddenly Bryce got back into the round as he landed a big punch and took Dan Ige down, settling in full mount again. This time Ige did better to escape mount, but Bryce got on the back with one hook in as the fence kept him from getting the other. Mitchell locked up an arm under the neck and got another hook in but he began to get too high on the back as Ige tried to shake him off. Ige turned back to face him and got mounted as Bryce tried to lock up a head-and-arm choke with thirty seconds left. Ige seemed in trouble for a second but then he just started punching Bryce’s body and Mitchell released the choke right before the bell.

The final round started with Bryce’s eye almost completely shut. He did not change a single thing, coming forward and shooting a takedown in the opening seconds. He got to a rear body-lock and almost took the back but Ige seemingly reversed the position and got on top, but Bryce’s flexibility was on full display as he locked up a body triangle and re-took the back as he was falling off. Mitchell held onto his body triangle but Ige found an opportunity to escape halfway through the round. However, Bryce recognized it and transitioned to stay on top in half-guard.

Ige got free anyways and struggled back to his feet but was still trapped in a body-lock position with Bryce hanging off Dan’s back and lacing up his legs. With ninety seconds left Mitchell got to the hips, lifted Ige, and slammed him to the mat, but Dan bounced up and reversed the position, getting in on Bryce’s hips with Mitchell sitting up against the fence while holding onto a Kimura trap. Ige held onto the position and controlled Bryce, albeit in a non-dominant position, for most of the rest of the round. With ten seconds left he did get into mount but was unable to land strikes there as the fight went to the judges’ scorecards.

When the scorecards were read out by Joe Martinez, all three judges scored it for ‘Thug Nasty,’ one of them giving him all three rounds. For his post-fight interview Bryce put his arm around Dan Ige and kept him with him. Mitchell declared that he would donate $5,000 to Dan to give to fellow Hawaiians who lost their homes in the recent fires. He also declared that the fires were sent by Satan and that the power of Christ would stop him, as well as saying that the fires in Hawaii were made by man in an attempt to take land from Native Hawaiians. Dan and him prayed together in the center of the cage to close out an interesting interview.

Official Result: Bryce Mitchell def. Dan Ige by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)