With the UFC successfully pulling off their first Pay-Per-View on Fight Island last Saturday with an estimated 1.3 million Pay-Per-View buys, with great performances throughout the stacked card, the main talking point leaving the event was the title bout between UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and Former Featherweight Champion Max Holloway battling it out for the second time. After Volkanovski was announced as the winner by Split Decision, this left a bitter taste in a lot of fans mouths and UFC President Dana White about the judging system as White along with a large majority of fans believed Holloway had done enough to reclaim the Featherweight crown. The bout will more than likely set up a trilogy bout later in the year to determined who is the best Featherweight in the UFC. Due to Holloway and Volkanovski initially dominating most of the top contenders in the division, this leaves a shortlist of contenders left to challenge for the title, Zabit Magomedsharipov is the front runner for the next title shot as he currently stands at Number 2 in the 145 Division but not far behind is half of Wednesday nights Main Event, Calvin Kattar.
Born in Methuen, Massachusetts, USA. Calvin Kattar stands out as a serious contender in the UFCs Featherweight division and although he currently sits at #6 in the division, he is not to be overlooked with his style of fighting being a mix of Boxing and Muay Thai making him one of the most well rounded strikers in the division. Over the 13 years that Kattar has been active as a professional, he has strung together a record of 21 wins (11 Knockouts, 2 Submissions & 8 Decisions) and only 4 losses (1 Submission & 3 Decisions).
Before entering the UFC, Kattar racked up a professional record of 16-2 as well as winning 8 consecutive bouts going into his UFC debut. Kattars call to the UFC came when he was asked to be a replacement for the originally slated bout Doo Ho Choi vs Andre Fili on July 29, 2017 at UFC 214. Due to Choi withdrawing from the bout, the opportunity to fight always exciting Fili came to Kattar. Although a tough debuting bout on paper for Kattar, he convincingly won the bout by Unanimous Decision bringing his win streak to 9.
On January 20th that following year, Kattar competed again against Undefeated prospect, Shane Burgos at UFC 220. Burgos was looked at to be a future title contender and possibly even UFC Featherweight Champion, but Kattar put his striking on display when he became the first person to defeat and finish Burgos by TKO in round 3. This got Kattar a Fight of the Night bonus and adding Burgos to his 10 fight win streak.
3 months later at UFC 223, Kattar faced off with top Brazilian Prospect Renato Moicana where although Kattar showed some good offense, he went on to lose the bout by Unanimous Decision snapping his 10 fight win streak and putting Kattars goal for the title on hold.
On October 27th, Kattar made his third appearance of 2018 when he faced off with UFC newcomer Chris Fishgold at UFC Fight Night 138. Kattar brought himself back into the win column with a TKO victory over Fishgold in the first round.
Calvin Kattar sat out for the rest of 2018 and returned in the summer of 2019 at UFC 238 on June 8th. Kattar faced off against long time Top 10 Featherweight Ricardo Lamas. On paper this was looked at as Kattars hardest fight to date due to Lamas’ octagon experience with the likes of José Aldo, Max Holloway, Diego Sanchez, Chad Mendes & Charles Oliveira. Kattar made proved why he belonged with the top UFC Featherweights when he defeated Lamas by Knockout in round 1.
Kattars next bout was against another Featherweight prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov. Zabit was and still is looked at by a lot of UFC fans to be a future UFC champion as he has continued to put on dominate performances over all of his UFC opponents with his great ability to mix up his flashy and technical striking with his overpowering wrestling ability. Although Zabit possesses this variables, Kattar still continued to show he’s not to be overlooked and although Zabit received the Unanimous Decision win, Kattar walked away with a Fight of the Night award after displaying great striking ability and great cardio throughout the 3 round bout.
Calvin Kattars most recent bout came against arguably the most hard hitting UFC Featherweight of all time and always tough, Jeremy Stephens. Going into the bout at UFC 249, the bout was speculated to be a Barn Burner of a bout with the two combatants always putting on fun and exciting fights. At the weigh ins the day before the bout, Stephens missed the Featherweight limit by 4.5 pounds after weighing in at 150.5 pounds. Thankfully, Kattar agreed to still compete against Stephens resulting in the bout being everything that everyone hoped it would be with back and forth striking until Kattar landed a perfectly executed elbow on Stephens resulting in Stephens dropping to the mat and Kattar finishing Stephens by TKO in round 2.
This Wednesday, Calvin Kattar will compete in his second UFC Main Event when he faces off with #10 ranked Featherweight contender Dan Ige who has recently claimed back to back Split Decision wins over Mirsad Bektic and former UFC Lightweight contender, Edson Barboza. This bout has the potential to be a Fight of the Night winner and with there being a shortlist of featherweights staking their claim for a title shot, with a great performance on Wednesday night, this could put either man in the mix for a title shot in 2021.