He’d $26 to his name when Dan Ige revealed up in Las Vegas out of his home in Hawaii.
At the time, Ige was a up and coming fighter who wanted simply to coach and compete complete time so rather than toiling away at a construction project at home, he decided to pickup and proceed together with his pal Brad Tavares and give MMA his complete attention.
Regrettably, Ige figured out fast that if he needed to survive, he had been going to have to get a way to make some cash while he was still trying to find battles on the regional landscape.
When he met with Tavares & rsquo; manager for the very first time This & rsquo; s.
& ldquo; I didn & rsquo; t even need much money and that I lived with Brad and Ali [Abdelaziz] oversees rdquo, & Brad; Ige clarified when speaking with MMAWeekly. “rsquo & He;s enjoy ‘would you want to head to dinner? ’ also that I thought it had been a fantastic chance to go out and meet with some people. I was enjoy 21 or 2-0 as an expert. He moved & lsquo and He’d another guy as his helper;The Ultimate Fighter’ also he had been going to take your house for six weeks. I had no occupation at the moment , I had no clue what I was getting in to so that I said sure.
I showed up, I brought a laptop and a pencil and that I didn’we jumped in to the deep end and t even know exactly what to expect. It’s been this way every single day for the past 3 years. ”
The profound end for Ige was learning a whole new side of the struggle business as a director dealing with a few of the deepest rosters in the entire sport.
Abdelaziz’s firm, Dominance MMA, manages fighters such as Frankie Edgar, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kelvin Gastelum, Ilir Latifi, Cody Garbrandt, Kayla Harrison and others.
From the time that very first day he showed up to be an assistant, Ige has transitioned to a regular manager dealing with that roster along with Abdelaziz and the rest of his team.
And when Ige says he’s a full time manager, it is definitely meant by him.
“” It gets me mad when fighters say they’re training so hard,&rdquo. “because I know I & rsquo; m training as hard and that I & rsquo; m putting in the work, It gets me angry. I’m going from the gymnasium, jump inside the car still perspiration to goto work and then back to the gymnasium. There’s almost no time. I am the worker in this match, pound-for-pound, ” I know that. It’s nothing like I think I am, I know I am. ”
For the past few years, Ige has divided his time between management and fighting in 20 17 he finally earned his shot at the UFC after competing Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
That has been always the dream for Ige but his targets and ambitions never shifted because he earned a more outrageous paycheck when competing on the largest stage in the world to get mixed martial arts.
That’s Ige still works full time as a director while finding your way through a contest.
“my focus would be currently fighting but I need to be more realistic,” Ige said. “I need to put food onto the dining table. Fighting is good. I make money fighting that’s night in a lump sum. I’m not guaranteed a struggle so that I might go 6 months without a struggle. Employed in the management business, around fighting keeps me, keeps my mind sharp and that I feel as though that I ’m.
“I’m still in the spot, ” I ’m at virtually every struggle because we have a great number of guys on every card working for exactly what I’d say may be your most significant management business in the world so that it ’s lots of work. It’so crazy but somehow I do it. ”
As much as Ige is around he the struggle industry & rsquo;s found a way to compartmentalize his 2 worlds they knock a daily basis.
While he trains along side the fighters he handles, Ige himself actually features a director who isn’t Abdelaziz.
According to Ige later he arrived in Las Vegas and started employed by Abdelaziz, he had been introduced to Brian Butler, who owns and operates sucker-punch Entertainment — the same company who oversees UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, former winner Carla Esparza and a very long list of both UFC and Bellator fighters as well as regional hopefuls.
“Brian was that the guy along with He has lots of connections with all the shows that are regional. Ali is enormous on devotion plus I’m. ”
Today while Ige has since learned the ins and outs of their business due to his ’from fighting to sponsorship deals to host talks s seen all sides of their game, he still depends for so much in their career on Butler.
“” I feel there is a manager necessary, & rdquo; Ige. “Should Sean Shelby says & rsquo; ve made this struggle for you & rsquo; , I & rsquo & lsquo; I and walks up to me;m going to take it. I don&rsquo. If it’s a bad match up for me, I’ll say let’s go cause I’m a fighter. Sometimes you require a manager to measure in. A whole great deal of times we’ll get yourself a struggle for someone, we’ll keep in touch with the coaches before we talk to the fighters because being we & a fighter & rsquo; ll fight anybody.
“” I feel a manager is crucial. ”
Butler, who’s worked with Ige ever since that initial introduction from Abdelaziz, says that the young featherweight prospect is the best client not just because he’s a hard worker but also due to the simple fact that he knows the business also.
“Dan is among the guys to handle because he works on the management side of their fence,” Butler said in Ige. “We joke about him being time now that he’s caused it but he’s extremely humble and respectful to everyone.
“I can’t even say anything apart from that I really like the guy. ”
The weeks leading upto case proved just like any alternative for the older Hawaiian although At the moment, Ige is just a couple days from his struggle against Jordan Griffin in Milwaukee.
Merely earlier ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 28 Finale in Las Vegas a couple of weeks past, Ige had been spending his morning training at Xtreme Couture before grabbing a quick shower and a change of clothes to meet with a few of his clients, Kamaru Usman, who had been headlining the occasion.
Ige was only weeks away from their struggle but he still found a means to prioritize training before turning his attention to anything Usman needed day as well as the ultimate hours beforehand of stepping onto the scales .
He’s built a rapport with the UFC staff, who know him he directs as fighter and director.
“I really like rdquo; Ige said plus so they & rsquo with, & that the UFC staff. “I had been at the UFC offices yesterday and now I had been day with Kamaru Usman nevertheless once I arrive to struggle, ” I ’m Dan. They know that they don’t even need to put on my hand. I go in there and that I do my workout. I create their tasks easier. ”
While he’s rarely in the news for the job he does behind the scenes,” Ige is a very important asset to the management team which manages an roster across promotions across the globe.
“Dan, first of not merely works for me personally he ’s enjoy my brother and terrific training partner,&rdquo. “rsquo & He;s the guy who helps me keep he and the rhythm to Dominance MMA ’s an essential part of the business. He’s man in MMA time job and regular fighter in the UFC. ”
It’s not easy by any way and Ige can admit at times he can become frazzled after a difficult job.
“it & rsquo; so stressful and Occasionally if I do get caught up with work, I must consider what I’t performing here. I’m an expert fighter and I’m battling in the UFC. I have to put myself in check some times. It’s a equilibrium. At your day’s close , I’m a husband, too, so that’s my 3rd occupation.
I’m residing in the fastlane. ”
It might sound like alot to handle but rsquo & Ige wouldn .
In actuality, he’s grown to love in MMA management and the reality is among these organizations will retain him fed after the cage door shuts onto him.
“When I ceased today fighting, I really could possibly be a regular manager to support myself and support my family members,” Ige said. “I enjoy I wish to keep fighting and it really is my passion. ”