- Wednesday’s featherweight match between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige could produce one of the best UFC fights all year.
- That’s according to the UFC analyst Jon Anik, who told Insider this week that the headlining bout on the second of the four “Fight Island” events, “feels like bullet-proof matchmaking.”
- “I don’t know how it cannot be entertaining for as long as it lasts,” the commentator told us. “Both forward-moving, both aggressive, [and] both with a ton to prove.”
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FIGHT ISLAND -The upcoming UFC featherweight match between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige is so good it could produce a Fight of the Year contender.
That’s according to the analyst and UFC commentator Jon Anik, who told Insider at a “Fight Island” weigh-in ceremony Tuesday that Wednesday’s main event has all the makings of an entertaining scrap, “for as long as it lasts.”
It all goes down at the purpose-built, behind-closed doors Flash Forum venue on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, where the UFC is holding its international events during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“This fight is really the fight that jumped off of the ‘Fight Island’ fight cards for me, other than the title fights,” Anik told us.
Kattar, a 32-year-old boxing and Muay Thai proponent, enters “Fight Island” on the back of a big stoppage win over Jeremy Stephens on a pandemic era fight card in May.
The teak tough, aggressive, jiu jitsu expert Ige, 28, is a No.10 ranked featherweight and can leapfrog many others above him should he defeat Kattar, the favourite, at the “UFC on ESPN” show.
“This fight just feels like bullet-proof matchmaking,” Anik said. “I don’t know how it cannot be entertaining for as long as it lasts. Both forward-moving, both aggressive, both with a ton to prove.
“I give both guys a lot of credit because Calvin Kattar didn’t necessarily need to put his No.6 ranking on the line.
“He just had a big win over Jeremy Stephens, but I think he believes the best way to put his career forward and make an impression is to compete, finish guys, and make an imprint on the boss, who is obviously going to be front and centre watching this thing.
“I cannot wait to see this fight. I’m surprised to see Dan Ige as a +250 underdog. Kattar deserves to be the favourite but I don’t think Ige is given the respect from Las Vegas [bookmakers] that he deserves.
“[It’s a] hell of a main event. If it goes five rounds it could very well be a fight of the year candidate.”
Alhassan vs. Lazzez should also produce fireworks
Abdul Razak Alhassan, who fights for the first time after clearing his name in courts following a sexual assault allegation involving two women, is one of two athletes opening the main card Wednesday.
Alhassan fights a 174-catchweight bout against Mounir Lazzez, a UFC debutant who Dana White signed when a friend of the fighter showed the UFC president highlight-reel footage of Lazzez at a restaurant in Las Vegas.
Both fighters carry extraordinary knockout prowess with near identical records of 10 wins (10 knockouts) against one loss for Alhassan, and nine wins (eight knockouts) against one loss for Lazzez.
“It’s easy to see why the matchmakers put that in the main card opening slot,” Anik said.
“[It’s] just a fascinating match-up for fans and, you know hopefully the judges watch … but I don’t think the scorecards are going to be needed.”