A New Year Blessing
On Saturday UFC returns to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for UFC Fight Island 7 with an explosive main event as former featherweight champion Max Holloway takes on No. 6 ranked UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar.
Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway finds himself in the unusual territory as he enters his first non-title fight looking to secure his place as the No.1 contender. His last appearance at UFC Fight Island saw him narrowly lose out to titleholder Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision. Known for his high cadence of striking, Holloway will be looking to take charge of the contest early on and once again prove his credentials in the division.
His opponent, Calvin Kattar, returns to UFC Fight Island fresh off back-to-back victories. His first victory of 2020 came via a Jeremy Stephens second-round TKO back at UFC® 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje In May. This was followed by a polished unanimous decision victory over Dan Ige in July at UFC Fight Night® 172: Kattar vs. Ige. The ‘Boston Finisher’ will be aiming to prove that he is one of the best in the world against his first former champion.
FEATHERWEIGHT FIREWORKS: FORMER CHAMPION MAX HOLLOWAY RETURNS AGAINST SURGING CONTENDER CALVIN KATTAR
- Max Holloway (21-6, fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii) aims to cement himself as the clear No. 1 contender by becoming the first person to stop Kattar in the UFC
- Former featherweight champion, No. 1 ranked contender and No. 8 men’s pound-for-pound fighter
- 10 wins by KO, two via submission
- Was unbeaten at 145 pounds from 2014-2019
- Has won 14 of last 17 bouts
- Holds spectacular wins over Jose Aldo (twice), Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar
- Calvin Kattar (22-4, fighting out of Methuen, Mass.) aims to prove that he is one of the best in the world against his first former champion
- No. 6 ranked UFC featherweight contender
- 11 wins by KO, two via submission
- 10 first-round finishes
- Has won 14 of last 16 bouts
- Holds KO victories over Shane Burgos, Ricardo Lamas and Jeremy Stephens
Worth the Wait
The co-main event will see former interim UFC welterweight champion “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit go up against Matt “The Immortal” Brown. The fight has been a long time coming with previously scheduled bouts In 2013 and 2018 cancelled due to Injuries on Brown’s side.
Carlos Condit had a successful stint on UFC Fight Island last time out, gaining victory over Court McGee after five rounds via unanimous decision. He also holds impressive wins over Nick Diaz, Dan Hardy and Rory MacDonald. The former World Champion will be looking to build on his momentum and claim a long-awaited victory against a fellow UFC veteran.
Matt Brown will be looking to start 2021 off on the right note following a disappointing 2020 that saw him lose his only outing to Miguel Baeza. The American will be thankful for his chance to fight Condit with fireworks promised regardless of the result. Each of the last seven fights ‘Immortal’ has been in hasn’t gone the distance and the same ferocity Is expected here.
WELTERWEIGHT VETERANS: FORMER INTERIM CHAMPION CARLOS CONDIT FACES OFF WITH MATT BROWN IN AN EXCITING 170-POUND CLASH
- Carlos Condit (31-13, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) aims to build off the momentum of his most recent victory with a vintage performance
- Former interim UFC welterweight champion
- 15 wins by KO, 13 via submission
- 21 first-round finishes
- Holds wins over Nick Diaz, Dan Hardy and Rory MacDonald
- Matt Brown (24-17, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) hopes to steal the show with another highlight-reel finish
- UFC welterweight
- 15 wins by KO, seven via submission
- Has finished all but two of his pro victories
- Holds wins over Stephen Thompson, Diego Sanchez and Tim Means
Over in the prelims, you can watch another eye-catching bout as German UFC welterweight David Zawada takes on the Russian Ramazan Emeev in the opening bout of 2021.
It’s been a long wait for the German who missed out on bouts last year due to event cancellation and an opponent withdrawal. He hasn’t entered the Octagon since November 2019 and will be keen to make up for lost time after his fantastic first-round submission win over Abubakar Nurmagomedov.
The Russian, Emeev, will also be looking to resume a winning streak In the Octagon having defeated Niklas Stolze on Fight Island at the end of July last year. He currently has a record of 4-1 in the UFC, and he’ll be hoping he can push closer to the Top 15 with another victory on Saturday night. Emeev Is favourite here but anything can happen under the lights In Abu Dhabi.
OTHER FIGHTS ON THE CARD INCLUDE
- Welterweight standout Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-3, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) returns to action for the first time in over two years when he takes on the durable Li Jing Liang (17-6, fighting out of Beijing, China)
- 2020 breakout star Joaquin Buckley (12-3, fighting out of St. Louis, Mo.) intends to keep his momentum going when he battles Alessio Di Chirico (12-5, fighting out of Rome, Italy) at middleweight
- Undefeated Dana White’s Contender Series veterans lock horns as Punahele Soriano (6-0, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) faces Dusko Todorovic (10-0, fighting out of Belgrade, Serbia) in a middleweight contest
- Dana White’s Contender Series standout Phil Hawes (9-2, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) seeks to hand Nassourdine Imavov (9-2, fighting out of Paris, France) his first UFC loss
- Rising women’s bantamweight prospect Wu Yanan (10-3, fighting out of Xi’an, China) looks to deliver her most impressive performance yet against newcomer Joselyne Edwards (9-2, fighting out of Panama City, Panama)
- Heavyweights Carlos Felipe (9-1, fighting out of Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil) and Justin Tafa (4-1, fighting out of Brisbane, Australia) intend to steal the show
- David Zawada (17-5, fighting out of Düsseldorf, Germany) and Ramazan Emeev (19-4, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) clash in an exciting welterweight bout
- Women’s bantamweight veteran Sarah Moras (6-7, fighting out of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) intends to stop Vanessa Melo (10-8, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) from achieving her first UFC victory
- Jacob Kilburn (8-3, fighting out of Woodlawn, Tenn.) and Austin Lingo (7-1, fighting out of Mesquite, Texas) battle to secure their first UFC wins in a featherweight bout