Dan Ige is looking to emerge as a player in the 145-pound division.

Ige (14-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) headlines the UFC’s July 15 event when he takes on Calvin Kattar at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Winner of his six in a row, Ige has been on a roll and is coming off back-to-back wins over Mirsad Bektic and Edson Barboza. He takes on fellow streaking featherweight Kattar and is looking to enter the title race with a win.

“It’s literally right there,” Ige told MMA Junkie. “Everything is up for grabs. This whole sport is about timing. You see guys, Gilbert Burns for example – a guy that went on the fast track, fought anyone, anywhere, any time, short notice. That’s what it’s all about. It’s opportunities, stepping up, taking opportunities, taking risks, and that’s how you get ahead in this game. And he just beat the No. 1 contender, Tyron Woodley, and earned himself a title shot – and that’s what I’m looking to do.

“I know Volkanovski and Max are fighting four days before us, and so it will be a good timeframe. You got the other guys lined up probably later in the year, but you never know what will happen. In my mind, I’m expecting one or two more but I have one really tough guy to get past and that’s going to be a true test but once I get past him, I’m right there. I’m right within the reach of the title so I’m not gonna let it slip through my fingers.”

Kattar has won three of his last four, most recently delivering a spectacular elbow knockout over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 249. His last four wins have all come via finish and Ige is certainly expecting a game Kattar on the night.

“The guy’s got some slick hands,” Ige said. “He’s a power puncher. He’s got a nice right hand, nice left hook, really good jab – but I’m prepared for everything. I’m prepared if he throws a spinning wheel kick. … You can’t underestimate anyone’s skills, and although we’ve only kind of seen his standup, his boxing and he has great cardio, he has a great gas tank – I’m expecting the best ever Calvin Kattar and I’m looking to test him in all areas.”

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