Beginning their 2021 schedule with some style, the UFC is slated to return on January 16th. on ‘Fight Island’ in a debut outing on the ABC network — with UFC Fight Island 7 headlined by a massive featherweight pairing of former champion, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway and the streaking, Calvin Kattar.
Judged by the consensus as a potential title-eliminator at 145-pounds, Holloway looks to earn a return to title contention since he dropped the crown to current titleholder, Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski as well as a subsequent re-run.
For Kattar, the New England Cartel standout looks to continue a massive siege for the team, following in the footsteps of fellow feature, Rob Font who marked his Octagon return with a massive UFC Vegas 19 knockout of one-time bantamweight title challenger, ‘Magic’ Marlon Moraes.
Approaching his third promotional main event, Kattar dropped a contentious unanimous decision three-round back-and-forth to Zabit Magomedsharipov in Moscow in 2019, before taking home an entertaining unanimous judging win of his own over Holloway’s compatriot, ‘Dynamite’ Dan Ige on ‘Fight Island’ last July over five frames.
Pitted with the former champion this weekend, Kattar explained how he believes any title hopeful at 145-pounds should have to pass the litmus test that Hawaii favourite, Holloway brings, and if he passes — he wants a shot at featherweight spoils.
“Prior to this fight (being booked), I thought if you want a title shot you’ve got to go through Max (Holloway) to get it,” Kattar said during a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “I said that before I got the opportunity to fight him. Some people still consider him the champ. A win over him I think puts me next in line.“
Kattar added Ige to a winning run which included a stunning UFC 249 step-in elbow knockout of longtime contender, Jeremy ‘Lil’ Heathen’ Stephens in May last, and explained how a finish of Holloway would almost certainly leave him undeniable as the next in line for the title.
“That’d be a nice way to write it up (with a finish),” Kattar said. “I’m always looking to get the finish — every time I step in there, I’m looking to go for the kill. It’ll be now different stepping across from Max in there. It’s a great test and I’m excited. I’ve been ready all year long, and it couldn’t come at a better time.“
While the victor of Holloway vs. Kattar is a shoo-in for a title fight in their next outing, it’s likely they’ll have to wait in line behind one-time title challenger, Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega who is all but penned to match with the above mentioned, Volkanovski in his next Octagon walk.