Dan Ige will take on Ryan Hall on March 13
Number thirteen ranked featherweight and arguably the UFC‘s best submission artist, Ryan Hall will take on the eleventh ranked fighter in the division, Dan Ige. The fight has been announced for a Fight Night event set to take place on March thirteenth. Coming into this fight Ryan Hall is the most avoided fighter in the UFC and Ige is coming off a loss to Calvin Kattar that ended an impressive six-fight win streak. This fight is an interesting matchup between two fighters with exciting and different styles. Both fighters are potential title contenders and this matchup is definitely worth tuning in for.
Betting odds currently have Ige at -235 and Ryan Hall +200; this is probably because of how the fighters match up stylistically. I think the odds are reflective of confidence in Ige’s ability to dictate where the fight takes place with his wrestling and win on the feet. While that is one possible outcome, it would be absurd to overlook the other. People tend to write off the ADCC bronze medalist’s ability to handle his opponent’s punches because he doesn’t throw a lot of his own. Hall is actually very effective at avoiding his opponent’s punches. Hall also doesn’t need to have dominant wrestling to make contact with his opponent, because he has leglock entries in the open.
A Breakdown of Dan Ige’s Stand Up
Dan Ige possesses good vision, punching power, and hand speed when trading punches with his opponents. All three of the things I listed are massive advantages in the striking realm on their own. Having all three is rare, so this always makes Ige an interesting watch. Ige has good footwork and head movement and always seems to be in a good position. He’s mostly a puncher and likes to counter both the jab and right hand of an orthodox opponent with a powerful overhand right. He’ll start combos with the overhand to both the head and body and follows it with a strong left hook. Simply put, Ige is effective on his feet and his strengths are his hands and defense.
Brief Overview of Dan Ige’s Grappling
Dan Ige wrestled for Wartburg College, a division three NCAA wrestling team, and has a good ability to get the fight to the mat. There is virtually no chance he takes this fight there. He has good takedown defense as well, which might be important in this matchup as his opponent is known for his grappling. Dan Ige has five career wins by way of submission, this as well has virtually no chance of being relevant in this fight. As a BJJ black belt, he also has good escapes which are likely to utilize in this fight. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any footage of Dan Ige’s leglock defense which may be the deciding factor in this fight, because of Hall’s 50/50.
Ryan Hall’s Stand Up
Ryan Hall has done a great job of picking up striking since transitioning to MMA from submission grappling. Hall has done lots of work with Stephen Thompson at his gym, Upstate Karate. Thompson’s karate influence on Hall’s striking shows. Like Wonderboy he uses in and out movement and a bladed stance to dictate where the fight takes place. He actually has a nice spinning hook kick too. Uniquely to himself though, he uses this style of movement to avoid the mid-range, where damaging punches can be landed. Opting to either move back or connect himself to his opponent, often by falling to his back and trying to enter the legs.
Ryan Hall’s Grappling Abridged
It would take an entire article to give a comprehensive breakdown of Ryan Hall’s grappling, so I’ll stick to a quick overview of his mat work. Hall’s nickname is The Wizard and it’s pretty fitting as a description of his grappling. He is very good at entering the legs quickly from a variety of positions and then uses the entanglement to either sweep or submit his opponents. Hall has good back attacks and triangles, but the MMA world is rightfully horrified of his 50/50 leg entanglement. This will be an interesting battle to see unfold because there is no tape that I am aware of on Dan Ige’s leg game.
Why the MMA World Can’t Stop Hall’s Leg Locks
The BJJ world is still playing catch up with leg attacks and the MMA world is significantly further behind. Leg locks were long seen as ineffective by the BJJ community until they proved to be one of the best tools on the mat. The BJJ community eventually had to get with the times and stop getting heel hooked. Much of the BJJ community was late to adopt these game-changers. While the rest were ignoring the trends, some (like Hall) were developing the leg lock game and would use this knowledge to dominate competitive grappling. MMA fighters have many disciplines to learn and can’t do BJJ as much as BJJ players so they fell further behind the leg game.
The 50/50 Position
50/50 is Ryan Hall’s most commonly used entanglement. Entanglement is a lock placed on an opponent’s leg in order to immobilize it to be attacked with a submission. 50/50 is an entanglement where both fighters lock around and outside of their opponent’s. The position starts neutral until one fighter breaks the other triangle and exposes their heel to attack. The neutral position is now an incredibly dangerous one that can quickly cause extreme damage to the ligaments of the attacked leg. The Wizard likes to use variations of 50/50 like backside and other “unfair” 50/50s to get greater leverage when finishing the heel hook. 50/50 is a huge advantage to Hall in this fight because of his knowledge and the neutrality of 50/50.
Ryan Hall finally gets a fight after basically the whole division refused to fight him and Dan Ige gets a good opponent coming off a loss to Calvin Kattar. Seemingly a win-win for the fighters and fans alike, as both fighters have exciting styles in their own ways. Dan Ige loves to move forward and throw heavy leather and is very technical. Ryan Hall has a kind of aesthetically pleasing exotic movement and is an absolutely one of a kind grappler in MMA. Dan Ige comes into this fight as a significant favorite, but this fight is too close to call for me personally. This bout is sure to entertain and is a must-watch for fans of martial arts.
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