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Ranked UFC featherweight Dan Ige eyes return by ‘end of the year’

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“50K” prepares to climb back up UFC’s 145-pound mountain.

No. 8-ranked Featherweight contender, Dan Ige, is on the hunt for another $50,000 bonus, ideally by the end of the year.

Ige (15-4) looks to bounce back from a tough unanimous decision loss to “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (watch highlights) at UFC Vegas 29, which took place inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, back in June. “50K” is not deterred by the setback, preparing to scale the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight ladder once more.

“It was a great fight, a good experience. I fought one of the best guys in the world. I took it hard for a bit but I can’t just sit there and pout about it all day,” Ige tells MMAmania.com. “For me, it’s just getting mentally right, physically right and then getting the mental and physical aligned to where I can thrive and be at my best. I’m getting ready to make the climb again. It doesn’t really matter who I fight right now. I just need to get back on the winning streak. Get two or three more wins to even be in the talks, again, of a top contender fight. I’m getting ready. I think you will probably see me again this year. If anything, end of the year and if not, maybe early next year. Just getting ready to attack the mountain.

“We’re just back down at base camp and we have to find the new path,” he continued. “I’ll probably fight somebody within the rankings, but it’s not my priority to have them above me. It doesn’t really matter. I just need to fight and get some wins. My goal is to be the champion and I really believe that I will be. I’m on a rocky path but you gotta make those minor adjustments and keep getting better. I’m still young in this sport and I feel like I’m just entering my prime so I have to take full advantage of these next three to four years.”

Despite suffering a setback against “Korean Zombie,” Ige had the chance to heal with the company of his newborn son.

“It was nice. Father’s Day was the day after the fight. I was a little beat up. But it was nice. We got to out to Utah. My father-in-law was in town. We hung out, spent time together and have fun. I got to spend time with my son and just enjoy the moment without thinking about a fight or being in a camp. I feel like every day for me is Father’s Day. I’ve taken a step back from training and fighting — my focus obviously — and just put my focus 100 percent on being a dad and husband. It’s been really nice enjoying that time. But I am starting to get the itch again to get back in the gym soon.”

Ige’s 10-fight UFC tenure includes wins against Edson Barboza, Mirsad Bektic and Gavin Tucker, as well as a five-round fight against Calvin Kattar.

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