UFC Vegas 79 will be the promotion's 17th straight weekend with an event before we get a week break heading into October. Ranked lightweights Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot will headline in the UFC APEX while ranked featherweights Bryce Mitchell and Dan Ige will be in the co-main event slot. Mitchell is coming off the first loss of his career while Ige will be looking for his third straight.
The No. 12-ranked Ige currently fights out of Xtreme Couture and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while also being an NCAA Division III wrestler. Ige went pro in 2014 and bounced around promotions like RFA, Pancrase, Legacy FC, Cage Fury Fighting Championships, and Titan FC before appearing on Dana White's Contender Series. Ige beat Luis Gomez but wouldn't receive a contract, instead getting matched up with Julio Arce at UFC 220, officially making his debut.
After losing to Arce, Ige would reel off six straight wins over names like Kevin Aguilar, Mirsad Bektic, and Edson Barboza. Ige would earn his first UFC main event against Calvin Kattar on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi during the COVID pandemic but would go 1-4 during that stretch, including another main event loss to Chan Sung Jung (aka Korean Zombie). Ige has bounced back with wins over Damon Jackson and recently Nate Landwehr at UFC 289. Ige is now looking to keep Mitchell irrelevant by handing him another loss while climbing up the rankings.
Dan Ige looks to keep Bryce Mitchell in the loss column while continuing another win streak
Mitchell is also a black belt in BJJ and went pro in 2015, fighting for now defunct promotions RFA and World Series of Fighting (WSOF). In 2018 with a 9-0 record with eight of those wins coming by submission, Mitchell joined season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter. Mitchell would lose in the semi-final to eventual winner Brad Katona but would make his UFC debut at the Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated finale. Mitchell would win his first six UFC fights including Andre Fili and Edson Barboza, but suffered the first loss of his career to Ilia Topuria at UFC 282.
Ige will hold a one-inch reach advantage while Mitchell will be two inches taller. This fight will no doubt find the mat at some point, and it will be up to Ige to dictate where it goes as Mitchell has a smothering and sneaky style. Ige's sleight reach advantage could help him if he can use his power to catch Mitchell. This matchup is one not to miss in the stacked featherweight division.