by Bryanna “Pink Ranger” Fissori
Hawaiian fighter Dan Ige (8-1) will be joining the ranks of elite competitors as a member of the UFC roster.
Ige is coming off of a win this summer on Dana White’s Contender Series. Ige did not secure a contract on the show, but did leave a lasting impression with his third round submission victory.
The news became public late last week. “I actually found out about a week before I got the contract,” Ige told Xclusive MMA. “I was in New York helping out Cody Garbrandt for fight week and I met with Sean Shelby and mick Maynard (UFC matchmakers). They were impressed by my last performance and told me I earned my shot in the UFC. I was extremely happy and grateful because this is what I’ve worked for my entire life. A week later when I actually signed the contract is when everything set in. The feeling was surreal.”
Ige’s wife and mother were the first to get the good news. When asked what he thought made him stand out to the UFC, Ige replied, “I believe the intensity I bring to the cage and I always fight with heart. And a 6 fight winning streak is helpful.”
Ige’s only professional loss was in Honolulu on the Pancrase/Destiny Co-promotion nearly two years ago. The loss was a split decision to Japan’s Taichi Nakajima. All of Ige’s amateur fights were on the island and two of his early professional bouts.
“Growing up and competing on the islands really gave me the extra strength and motivation to go after my dream,” said Ige. “Growing up on the north shore especially, so many kids are inspired to be professional surfers and now being the first UFC fighter from Haleiwa. I hope I can inspire kids and Give them another outlet.”
Ige started out like all other fighters on the island, making his way through local promotions, training with the best he could find as he pushed forward in his career. His advice to others coming up in a similar fashion is, “Keep grinding and train smart. If you believe it you can achieve whatever it is you’re going after.”
“I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ, my beautiful wife Savannah, my family back home in Hawaii, my teammates and coaches at Xtreme couture, my management team, and all my friends who’ve supported my journey from the beginning.”
Congratulations to Dan Ige. We look forward to supporting you on the big stage!