01 Jan UFC on ESPN 8 results: Dan Ige edges out Edson Barboza by split decision in three-round battle
Dan Ige knew it wouldn’t be easy but after trading shots with Edson Barboza for 15 minutes, he walked away with a split decision victory.
The part-time MMA manager and top 15 ranked featherweight picked up the biggest win of his career with two judges scoring the fight 29-28 in his favor with the third official handing Barboza the same 29-28 scorecard.
“I did my best to go in there and grind and push,” Ige said. “Edson’s tough guy. One of the best in the world.
A fast start from Ige paid immediate dividends while throwing a heavy barrage of punches that put Barboza on the defensive. The tides turned rather quickly, however, after Barboza fired back with a devastating right hand that put Ige down on the canvas.
Barboza followed up with some vicious ground and pound but Ige showed incredible resilience as he survived the onslaught before working his way back to the feet. The knockdown may have stunned him temporarily but Ige came back with ferocious combinations that started to chip away at Barboza.
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Just when it looked like the momentum might be shifting, Barboza closed the second round with a glancing knee to the body that rattled Ige’s insides. He shot for a takedown and instead ate a few more hammer fists from Barboza before the horn sounded.
Barboza did more damage to the body during the final five minutes but no matter what hit him, Ige just kept coming back for more while continuing to fire off power punches of his own. The difference in the fight may have come in the closing moments after Ige secured a takedown and started blasting away at Barboza with punches from the top.
It was not an easy fight to call but Ige earned the split decision while Barboza falls in his featherweight debut.
“That’s six in a row,” Ige said about his current win streak. “I want the best guys in the world. I want the Yair’s [Rodriguez]. I want the [Jeremy] Stephens. I want the [Calvin] Kattars. I want the “Zombies” [Chan Sung Jung].”