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UFC 303’s Dan Ige recounts taking same-day bout vs. Diego Lopes: ‘In a manner, it felt like I received’

Dan Ige had one hell of a weekend as he partook in one of the UFC’s craziest pulls in modern history. This past Saturday, Ige co-headlined UFC 303 in Las Vegas – an event that served as the crown jewel of the prestigious UFC International Fight Week. Although that is an honor for many fighters

UFC 303’s Dan Ige recounts taking same-day bout vs. Diego Lopes: ‘In a manner, it felt like I received’

Dan Ige had one hell of a weekend as he partook in one of many UFC’s craziest pulls in fashionable historical past.

This previous Saturday, Ige co-headlined UFC 303 in Las Vegas – an occasion that served because the crown jewel of the distinguished UFC Worldwide Combat Week. Though that’s an honor for a lot of fighters, what made it loopy and distinctive is that he wasn’t alleged to battle on the cardboard, and was summoned hours earlier than the co-main occasion, after the cardboard had already began.

That’s proper. With simply 4 hours’ discover, Ige (18-8 MMA, 10-7 UFC) ended up preventing harmful contender Diego Lopes (24-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) within the co-main occasion of UFC 303. It was a busy and chaotic flip of occasions for Ige, and sarcastically sufficient, he was in “full-on zen mode” and listening to spa music when all of it went down.

“My therapeutic massage therapist was at my home, she labored on my entire household, I used to be the final one,” Ige instructed MMA Junkie Radio, recalling the second he acquired the decision to battle Lopes. “I acquired on the desk round 3 p.m. I had an hour and a half booked, and I had no clue I’d be preventing.

“I used to be simply preparing for Monday, recovering and preparing for Sunday after which Monday as a result of I used to be preparing for a battle (on July 20), so I used to be simply getting my physique proper.”

As Ige was getting his physique labored on, his supervisor and UFC brass have been scrambling to get him. He was the best possibility to interchange an in poor health Brian Ortega, who was alleged to battle Lopes within the card’s co-main occasion. Ige was coaching and had a battle booked in Las Vegas, so he had all his medical paperwork finished and lives on the town.

“My cellphone was on don’t disturb, and my spouse comes upstairs as a result of she was getting calls from Ali (Abdelaziz) and my mother was calling saying, ‘Hey, Ali is looking,’” Ige mentioned. “Lastly, I grabbed my cellphone. Ten missed calls – Ali, Hunter Campbell. I used to be like, ‘What’s occurring?’

“As I’m making an attempt to look who referred to as me, Ali’s calling once more, so I answered. I used to be like, ‘Hey, what’s occurring brother? Sorry, I’m getting a therapeutic massage.’ He was like, ‘Brother, brother. Ortega is out.’ I’m like, ‘OK, cool.’ He’s like, ‘Brother, you wish to battle Lopes?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, certain. Let’s go.’”

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Ige, who was alleged to battle Chepe Mariscal on July 20 at a UFC Combat Night time occasion on the Apex, thought he was getting the decision to battle Lopes at a later date, pondering Lopes’ battle with Ortega had been canceled. However as we all know now, Ige’s supervisor meant preventing Lopes in a number of hours at UFC 303.

“I’m like, ‘What? That’s not even attainable,’” Ige mentioned when he realized they have been asking him to battle in a number of hours’ time. “Anyway, I’m beginning to get excited. So I’m like, ‘Yeah, let’s go! Let’s go!’ He’s like, ‘Brother, you need me to get a deal finished?’ I’m like, ‘No matter which means, certain. Let’s go.’ So he mentioned, ‘OK, I’ll name you again.’ So, I’m like, that was bizarre.”

Abdelaziz instructed Ige to pack his bag and head over to the T-Cellular Area, as his battle with Lopes was seemingly going to occur. Some particulars wanted to be addressed, however Abdelaziz instructed him it was 80 % finished.

“I’m working round my home like, what do I want?” Ige mentioned. “I’m making an attempt to drink water, making an attempt to eat one thing as a result of if I’m going to battle, I have to be fueled. I had some yogurt and granola, some honey. I had a espresso, I had some supplemental carbs. I’m actually working round my home, frantically excited and simply grabbing random issues.”

Ige referred to as his head coach, Eric Nicksick, who was already on the area to nook Roman Dolidze and instructed him what was occurring. Nicksick requested no questions and shortly assembled a last-minute nook, calling PFL’s Kai Kamaka III and former UFC champion Sean Strickland.

Abdelaziz then picked up Ige and took him to the sector.

“I’m strolling in, they take me to this VIP room, there’s well-known individuals in there: Mark Wahlberg, Jellyroll, Dana (White), Hunter (Campbell),” Ige mentioned. “I say what’s up and growth, they take me to the size.

“I didn’t know I truly needed to weigh in. I didn’t learn the bout settlement. They despatched me the bout settlement, and I used to be like, ‘Oh, candy. The cash is there. I’m getting good cash.’ That’s all I checked out. I didn’t know there was an precise weight class – 165.”

Fortunately for Ige, he was on weight as 165 kilos is his walk-round weight in camp and weighed in no downside. Lopes was additionally weighed in at 161 kilos, making their co-main occasion bout official.

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Subsequent factor you already know, Ige is getting his arms wrapped and was an hour and a half away from co-headlining one of many promotion’s most essential card of the yr in entrance of 20,000 followers.

Ige went on to lose a 29-28 unanimous decision, however placed on an admiral effort within the course of. Though an official loss on his report, Ige was proud of the expertise and that he confirmed the MMA world that he’s certainly about that life.

“For no recreation planning, nothing, simply going on the market and having enjoyable and preventing, I believed I did fairly nicely,” Ige mentioned. “In a manner, it felt like I received. I received plenty of notoriety, I received followers, I acquired UFC favor, and it feels good. You don’t usually really feel like this after a loss on a Tuesday, however the quantity of simply love and respect that I acquired from individuals, followers, the media, right here we’re, man. What a fricking wild evening.”

Be sure you go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of blended martial arts.

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