Abu Dhabi has held the second of three UFC events in two weeks. Cavin Kattar fought Dan Ige in the main event of a card that held some intriguing match-ups. Kattar and Ige are both great action fighters and this clash had ramifications for the featherweight division title picture.
They knew that win for either man would see them move up the rankings towards a title shot. Kattar came into this fight with a reputation as a real problem. ‘The Boston Finisher’ came into this one off the back of a win over Jeremy Stephens. One of the division’s dark horses, he is a very slick boxer.
Meanwhile, Dan Ige most recently defeated Edson Barboza in a very contentious decision. In short, he likes to get in people’s faces and scrap. That’s exactly what happened in this one. Both men came to fight but in the end, it was Kattar who emerged as the winner.
BOMBS & COUNTERS! 💣
— UFC (@ufc) July 16, 2020
This was a very close fight where both men had opportunities to win. However, Kattar dominated the fight. Although it was very close, most people agreed that Kattar had done enough to win. In sum, this was a very compelling chess match with some excellent moments. However, Kattar just looked slicker.
But Ige did have his moments. He bloodied Kattar in the second round, visibly hurting him. Both men wore damage towards the end of the fight but in the end, only one could win. However, Ige can also be proud of his efforts after a hard-fought five rounds. It was a great fight to watch.
HOW'S THAT FOR ROUND ONE!? 😤
— UFC (@ufc) July 16, 2020
Kattar suddenly finds himself with four wins in his last five fights. In short, he could even fight Max Holloway next because ‘Blessed’ is nowhere near a title shot right now unless Alexander Volkanovski loses the strap. Kattar is desperate to build on his momentum. To sum up, with his style, he will be a problem for anybody. He said:
“I feel like I just went through a five-round fight. Dan is a tough kid but I just think I’m built differently than these guys mentally.”
“I think it’s tough not to get damage after how many fights to be in and my style but credit to Dan,” Kattar said. “But credit to Ige. He’s a tough kid and has a tough style.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 16, 2020
This was a relatively thin card by the recent standards of the UFC. In the co-main event, Tim Elliot got a very tight win over Ryan Benoit. It looked like Benoit had done the most damage. But in the end, Elliot took the decision. We have seen some controversial judging but that was up there.
Meanwhile, Paul Felder left the commentary desk to corner Jared Gordon. Gordon’s corner was unable to travel to Abu Dhabi because of the current health crisis. Felder offered to corner his friend and Gordon agreed. It was a great moment to see him walk down the tunnel to Gordon’s lockerroom. Then, to cap it off, Gordon got the win.
Finally, Jimmie Rivera got a win over Cody Stamann. This brings Rivera back into bantamweight contention. Those lighter divisions are very interesting these days. Next weekend Darren Till will fight Robert Whittaker in a big middleweight clash. Fight Island will continue.