Despite the changes to the main event that resulted in Belal Muhammad stepping up on short-notice, UFC Vegas 21 is still looking like an extremely stacked card. Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker was another bout made on the fly. As originally, 50k Ige was supposed to collide with the famed jiu-jitsu wizard Ryan Hall at UFC Vegas 21.
Hall would pull out in early February citing an injury. MMA fans would be gifted with another exciting matchup when Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker was announced.
The Road to Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker
Dan “50K” Ige (14-3, 6-2 UFC)
Ige is confident he can handle this fight in any direction it goes. In an interview with BJpenn.com ahead of the Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker fight, Ige said:
“I’m planning and preparing to beat him anywhere the fight goes. As much as I respect him, I can’t have that respect when we go in there to compete… When I go in there, I have to put on a show. It’s an MMA fight, I have to mix things up and I will show everything and show off my improvements.”
A well-rounded fighter, Ige can truly thrive in any situation on the feet or ground. However, it’s his grappling that would probably go down as his most potent offensive threat.
Previously riding a 6 fight win streak with victories over the likes of Danny Henry, Mirsad Bektić, and a controversial decision over Edson Barboza, Calvin Kattar ended Ige’s big run at UFC Fight Island 1. In hindsight, it’s very ironic for Kattar. He outclassed Ige on the feet to win the decision, and then faced Max Holloway on UFC on ABC 1, where Holloway then outclassed Kattar on the feet, literally setting records against him.
Gavin Tucker (13-1, 4-1 UFC)
A former Elite Cage Combat featherweight champion, Tucker debuted in the UFC as an undefeated fighter. He defeated Sam Sicilla at UFC Fight Night 105 via decision, then moved on to the greatest hurdle so far on the road to Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker.
Facing Rick Glenn at UFC 215, Tucker suffered an absolutely brutal beating that left him with four broken bones in his face. Showing the heart of a champion, Tucker hung in until the decision, however virtually everybody that saw the fight was outraged it wasn’t stopped, leading to tweets like this:
Demonstrating the highs and lows of this game, “Guv’nor” followed up that brutal defeat with two back-to-back finishes by rear-naked choke over Seung Woo Choi, then Justin Jaynes. His most recent fight was at UFC 256, where we’d see Tucker defeat Billy Quarantillo via decision.
Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker Fight Breakdown and Prediction
Stylistically, this is the type of fight that will really display the evolution of Mixed Martial Arts as a whole. Both fighters are ridiculously well-rounded, and no matter where this fight goes, expect things to stay competitive.
As the southpaw in the equation, Tucker could have the edge on the feet, depending on Ige’s experience dealing with the opposite stance. On the other hand, 50k will have a two-inch reach advantage over the “Guv’nor” to aid in his striking endeavors. Tucker is the busier fighter on paper, in both strikes thrown and takedowns attempted. While Ige gets hit less, has a higher takedown defense rate, and definitely has faced a higher caliber of adversaries.
Folks, what more do we have to cover? You can see how evenly matched these men are! Both jiu-jitsu black-belts, both coming from a strong judo background, it’s like these guys are almost carbon copies of each other skill-wise. That’s always the way things seem on paper though, and doubtlessly, one of these men will solidify themselves at UFC Vegas 21, and prove they’re the superior fighter!
If you were one of those guys who picked a winner based on a fighter’s most recent performance, you would be picking Tucker here! However, If you prefer to look at the full picture, then Ige is the younger guy who has faced a much higher level of competition.
This fight could be hard to call for anyone, given that skill-wise these men are so similar. You could say that as the more reserved fighter Ige could either use that as an advantage or it could serve as a detriment. Either way, we will find out!
Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker prediction: Dan Ige via decision!
What’s your take on the Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker fight? Drop your prediction down below in the comments!
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