Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scrappers Dan Ige and Nate Landwher will square off this weekend (Sat., June 10, 2023) at UFC 289 inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Ige rose into the Featherweight ranks by winning six straight fights, but he soon hit a ceiling, losing four of his next five fights to a handful of elite Featherweights. Fortunately, Ige proved there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank back in January, brutally stopping Damon Jackson in the second round to return to the win column. On the other hand, “The Train” sputtered off to a slow start inside the Octagon, losing two of his first three fights. Since then, however, he’s revamped his game considerably and won three straight bouts. He has some momentum here, but it’s likely the toughest test of his career.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Edson Barboza (UFC on ESPN 8), Mirsad Bektic (UFC 247), Gavin Tucker (UFC Vegas 21), Damon Jackson (UFC Vegas 67)
Key Losses: Movsar Evloev (UFC Vegas 56), Josh Emmett (UFC 269), Chan Sung Jung (UFC Vegas 29), Calvin Kattar (UFC on ESPN 13), Julio Arce (UFC 220)
Keys to Victory: Ige doesn’t have a huge amount of knockout wins on his record, but the man has cement in his fists. He’s also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with quality wrestling, making for a well-rounded contender. He’s finished 10 of his 16 opponents before the final bell.
This reads like a kickboxing battle to me. Both men are well-rounded enough to mix takedowns into their game, but they excel at working back up and firing to the point that neither is likely to secure control for longer periods of time.
Ige tends to fight in one of two ways, either bullying forward consistently or willingly working the outside. In this case, the latter option seems the better fit. Landwehr is a majorly aggressive fighter, so if Ige is setting traps, Landwehr will likely walk right into them. Given that Landwehr is such a pathologically aggressive and high-volume fighter, it’s up to Ige to land the heaviest shots and avoid exchanges with his foot work when he doesn’t want to trade.
Key Wins: Darren Elkins (UFC Jacksonville), Ludovit Klein (UFC Vegas 40), Austin Lingo (UFC San Antonio),
Key Losses: Julian Erosa (UFC Vegas 19), Herbert Burns (UFC Fight Night 166)
Keys to Victory: Landwehr is a lot of fun. He’s willing to wrestle, but the Tennessee-native makes his money by breaking his opponent’s down with lots of punches and kicks up and down the body. Back in his M-1 days, Landwehr routinely turned up the heat in the latter half of long fights to capture the title.
Landwehr wants to press Ige here. He has to watch out for that big overhand, but Landwehr does his best work when moving forward and building combinations. Both men are comfortable in scrappy fights, but that’s really Landwehr’s wheelhouse!
Still, Landwehr’s recent technical developments are encouraging. He’s the slightly taller and longer man, and his style tends to rely on more distance strikes in comparison with Ige, who lands his best shots in the pocket. If Landwehr can pressure without stuffing his own offense in the process, he stands the best shot at upsetting the Hawaiian veteran.
A spot in the Featherweight 15 is on the line.
For the second time in a row, Ige is being forced to defend his ranking, which is the result of losing three straight to men ranked above him in a very talent-rich division. A win proves that he’s in the right spot, and perhaps he’ll get an opportunity to climb the ladder next time out. If he comes up short, however, he’s once again on the outside of the Top 15 looking in — an unenviable position in the Featherweight shark tank.
Landwehr has a chance here to escape that exact spot. At 34 years of age, this feels like a now-or-never moment for Landwehr. Either he keeps advancing up the ladder in his unlikely quest for the title, or that climb comes to an end at UFC 289. This is a major opportunity, and Landwehr cannot afford to let it slip from his fingers.
At UFC 289, Dan Ige and Nate Landwehr will go to war. Which Featherweight earns the victory?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 289 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 289: “Nunes vs. Aldana” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.