UFC Fight Night Kattar vs Ige main event breakdown and more!

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Main event- Kattar vs Ige

This special Wednesday fight night card on Fight Island features a main event that will see either Calvin Kattar or Dan Ige put their name into the title picture in the UFC featherweight division. The pair of 145 pounders are scheduled for five rounds in the main event. 

Dan Ige (14-2) is a hefty enough underdog in the fight, sitting at +245. He brings a five-fight win streak within the UFC, but his most recent win was not one without controversy. He was awarded a split decision win against Edson Barboza that essentially everyone in the MMA community took issue with. Barboza’s team went so far as to attempt to appeal the decision. Now, the incorrect decision is not Ige’s responsibility and all he can do is take this opportunity in stride and attempt to step up into the elite of the featherweight rankings. 

Ige is a well-rounded fighter who’s offensive bread and butter is his grappling game. He is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) black belt and a solid wrestler. It would be wise of him to get this fight to the mat as quickly and often as possible. While his striking is solid enough, he does not have range nor big power to make opponents fear engaging in a stand up battle with him, and that will certainly not be the case in this particular matchup. 

Calvin Kattar (21-4) is the sizeable betting favorite in this main event, currently sitting at -315. Kattar had a setback two fights ago in a decision loss to Zabit Magomedsharapov, but bounced back with a vicious KO of Jeremy Stephens in his most recent bout. 

Kattar’s offensive bread and butter is in his striking, particularly in his incredibly sharp and precise boxing. He is a rangy featherweight that uses his length well, and will have 4” of height and 1” of reach in this matchup. Kattar’s precision in his hands can’t be understated as he isn’t necessarily the biggest power puncher, but the precision with his hands has scored knockouts for him against durable opponents. Included on that list is Shane Burgos, who recently ate every nuclear strike the massively powerful Josh Emmett threw at him and survived to get to the judge’s scorecards.

Kattar will test Ige’s chin from the opening round, and it will become apparent early enough that Ige will need to work his wrestling and also find a way to keep Kattar down to have a path to victory. This is an incredibly tall task as Kattar has quite sound takedown defense but even better are his get ups. He is very sound at finding his way back to his feet after being taken down. The last edge for Kattar by my view is in his cardio. I believe he will have the better gas tank in this matchup and even if the fight is close through three rounds, he will run away with it in the championship rounds. 

All in all, unless Ige is able to find a dominant position and score an unlikely finish or a 10-8 round, this fight will belong to Kattar, and the betting line is currently sitting in a correct spot. 

Bonus breakdown- Jimmie Rivera vs Cody Stamann

Mar 2, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) and Alejandro Perez (blue gloves) during UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

In what is the second-best fight on the card(from my perspective at least), bantamweights Jimmie Rivera (22-4) and Cody Stamann (19-2-1) clash, but they are fighting at featherweight for this particular fight. It is assumed it was mutually agreed to save each other the wear and tear of a full weight cut and to fight at featherweight instead with the fight coming on short-ish notice. 

Jimmie Rivera is a tiny favorite, sitting at -135. He is likely the beneficiary of the mitigated weight cut, as he is the thicker fighter and likely the one avoiding more difficulty cutting the extra 10 lbs leading up to the fight. 

Rivera has lost three of his last four fights, but the losses suffered are something of a murderer’s row at bantamweight. The losses were Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling, and now champion Petr Yan. These losses are not career enders by any means and this is a prime bounce-back spot for Rivera. As I mentioned in article How to bet on UFC fights there is a big difference between levels of competition, and a loss at this level, to that caliber of opposition is nothing to be ashamed of. He has the sharper and more dangerous striking of the two. He will work the head and body with his boxing and is also dangerous with leg kicks. Also, a boon for Rivera in this matchup is his insanely high-end takedown defense and get-ups. He stuffs takedowns at a massive clip (95%) and is nearly impossible to keep down if the takedown defense fails him. 

Cody Stamann is a well rounded fighter, but likely outclassed to some degree in this matchup. He does not have notable power in his striking, albeit technical enough, he will trail Rivera in that regard. The area in which he will have to succeed in this matchup to secure a win is with his wrestling. While it seems unlikely he will be able to secure takedowns, and more importantly, top control time, that is likely his sole path to victory when it becomes apparent he cannot keep up in the stand up striking. 

This is an important bout for both fighters if either has their sights set on entering the title picture as both have eclipsed the age 30 mark. It appears to be more one-sided than the betting line suggests and it will be interesting to see if Stamann can secure the biggest win of his career as an underdog. 

Enjoy the mid week fights!

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