Kahuku graduate Dan Ige will make his UFC debut Saturday night, facing off with fellow rookie Julio Arce at UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The 26-year-old, who is a slight +135 underdog in the featherweight (145 lb.) bout, earned a contract to the organization following a win on Dana White’s contender series this past summer.
“This is something I dreamed of and visualized for the past 10 years.” Ige said.
“I think eight years ago BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar fought in Boston and I was like ‘This is what I wanna do.’ I watched those guys fight and I was like ‘Man I know I’m gonna be in there.’ Nobody else saw it coming then because I wasn’t very good. If I persevered and finally here I am today.”
Hawaii’s fighters have carried a tradition into recent years by making the walk to the Octagon with the Hawaiian flag in tow. Ige is planning to carry the torch in Boston.
“I’m pumped to represent, I just bought myself a Hawaiian flag on Amazon.” Ige added.
“So I’m gonna walk out walk out with the Hawaiian flag, and a Hawaiian always comes to scrap so you could guarantee a scrap from me, that’s all I could say. I feel the support so much from Hawaii and I’m carrying the mana every day.”
UFC 220 will feature two world championship title fights, with the ballyhooed heavyweight championship featuring champion Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou. The co-main event is light heavyweight champ Daniel “DC” Cormier against Volkan Oezdemir.
Ige vs. Arce is the first scheduled bout on the Fox Sports 1 prelims. Those begin at 3:00 pm HST. The main card starts at 5:00.