The undefeated featherweight put on a punishing performance over all three rounds to ultimately win a lopsided decision, with the judges scoring the fight 30-26, 30-27, and 30-27 in his favor, as Evloev moved to 16-0 in his career with a 6-0 mark in the UFC.
“I’m feeling great,” Evloev said. “I prepared very well and big respect to my opponent. He was dangerous all the time. I think me and my opponent deserve Fight of the Night. That’s my opinion. Next one, I need a big name for a title shot. I’m the next champion.”
Both fighters exchanged jabs early, with Ige then launching bombs with his hands as he went to the body and then back upstairs to the head. Evloev countered with plenty of power in his punches, before uncorking a jumping knee strike that rattled Ige as the shot landed flush on the jaw.
Somehow, Ige absorbed the blow, but the knee helped Evloev begin to shift the momentum in his favor.
A noted Greco-Roman wrestler, Evloev then grabbed onto the body lock as he looked to rag-doll Ige around the cage, but the Hawaiian-born featherweight showed great balance to avoid ending up on his back.
Ige threw back with plenty of pop in his strikes, but Evloev still dug into him with heavy hands in return. Evloev also mixed in a takedown, which allowed him to throw some nasty ground-and-pound, including an elbow that just sliced across Ige’s head.
By the end of the second round, Ige’s face was bruised and bloody from the continued damage he absorbed.
With five minutes remaining, Evloev refused to give Ige any room to breathe, as he dragged the fight back down to the canvas and continued to hammer away with his punches. Ige was stuck playing defense, with Evloev unloading strikes and using his suffocating ground control to close out his latest winning performance.
The victory will undoubtedly help Evloev make a jump up the rankings at featherweight — and he’s hoping to see a featherweight with a similar undefeated record in the UFC standing across the cage from him when he fights next.
“I know one name, he’s still scared of me,” Evloev said. “He’s a bulls*** guy, Arnold Allen. I want to beat this guy in his place. Maybe England. I’ll be ready in a couple of weeks. I’d finish him. I promise.”
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