Recap: UFC Fight Night on ESPN 13: Kattar vs Ige


Another night of fights is in the books as the UFC gave us its second event from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Taking the stage as the main event was a Featherweight contest between #6 ranked Calvin Kattar (22-4 11 KOs) vs #10 Dan Ige (14-3 5 SUBs).


This bout would go the distance in a grueling close contest between the two young up-and-comers within the promotion’s 145lbs division. Walking away with a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) was Massachusetts own Calvin Kattar. Shown throughout the fight to have more power behind his strikes, Kattar would spend the five rounds stalking Ige and causing more damage when he connected.

Early on, he opened with back to back one-two combinations that backed up his opponent, and it seemed it might be an early night. But credit to the native from Hawaii who withstood the initial onslaught, would circle and find his distance going in and out. Returning fire, Ige seemed to break the nose of Kattar, which we found out later, he already had injured leading into the fight. Regardless, the two would continue the dance of back and forth action.

Through the first three rounds, the bout seemed to be neck and neck. Kattar was landing the harder strikes, but Ige was putting together combinations. Kattar was stuffing every takedown attempt, but Ige wasn’t allowing his foe to set his range for long and would avoid danger. In the championship rounds, however, Kattar would separate himself by being more active, his heavy strokes were starting to wear Ige’s production down, and this was the first five-round bout for both fighters. So fatigue was also a factor.


Photo Credit: Bloody Elbow

With the victory, Kattar is now 6-2 in the UFC and has won his last two outings. This match was his first main event, and he’s ranked 6th in a very stacked Featherweight division. He wants the bigger fights and wants to show his name doesn’t just deserve to be ranked high, but to be respected a force to be reckoned with. What’s next? Well, that could be tough to figure out, 4 of the top 5 fighters are matched up with each other for future dates. Maybe Kattar could stay in shape and be prepared in case any of those bouts fall through.

Maybe a throw down with another Hawaii native in the former champion Max Holloway? He’s coming off two straight losses but is the old king of the division and the most prominent name out there, so maybe that could be a possible match for later? Whichever way Kattar goes next, he’s shown that he’s a name to be on the lookout for going forward.


For Ige, its back to the drawing board, but this loss shouldn’t do much harm to him. He lost to a higher-ranked opponent; he’s 7-2 in the UFC, was on a six-fight winning streak, with his last win was over highly regarded, Edson Barboza. It’s not like Ige hasn’t shown that he belongs. He just now has to see which matchups are out there that can get him back in the win column and start his way back to this spot in the future.


In the night’s co-main event, we were treated to a thrilling back and forth war as Tim Elliott (15-11-1 6 SUBs) edged out Ryan Benoit (10-6 8 KOs) via decision (29-28 across the board). This was a much-needed win for Elliot as he was on a three-fight losing streak and hadn’t earned a win since December 2017 at UFC 219.


He’s always an entertaining fighter to watch as his unique and unorthodox style makes him unpredictable. Both fighters went for the fences at different times in the bout. Benoit had the power advantage, but Elliott was crisper with his combinations, and stance changes kept Benoit from unloading at a higher rate. Both would nearly fall off submissions when the bout went to the mat. At one point, Benoit looked to have had a leg lock applied, and you could see Elliott grimace in pain, but due to Benoit needing to adjust his grip, Elliott was able to escape.


Photo Credit: MMA Fighting

About halfway through the final round, Elliott seemed to hurt his finger on his right hand. He would try to adjust it, shake it off, but he didn’t throw the right hand again until the last few seconds. And even then, it was an open hand strike in a combination. Despite the injury, Benoit was unable to capitalize and be the aggressor. This could’ve been what cost him the bout as the majority of the match, Elliott, was pushing forward.

Either way, both fighters have been inconsistent during their UFC careers but are entertaining to watch. The big matchups aren’t in the near future, but whenever either of these two is on the card, you’re going to be in for a fun scrap.



This was something that we don’t see often from the UFC, but a fight card in the middle of the week was a nice change of pace and certainly gave us hope to see more in the future. Next up is will be the promotion returning this Saturday once again from Abu Dhabi for UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2 on ESPN. The Franchise has you covered.


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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media


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