Before last night’s main event between featherweight contenders, Calvin Kattar, and ‘Dynamite’ Dan Ige one thing was for certain. Both men have some of the most polished boxing at 145-pounds, with an incredible ability to take punishment and continue, to boot.
For all five-rounds Kattar and Ige found the target over and over again, unfazed for the most part – with the former taking a unanimous judging victory via 49-46 (x2), and 48-47 scorecards. The New England Cartel trainee put together varying combinations for twenty-five minutes, with Ige winging damaging hooks throughout. It’s now two straight wins for Kattar who’s more than likely set to continue beyond his #6 ranking in the division. For, Ige – he’s dropped his first Octagon loss in seven outings – but don’t expect a major loss of stock in terms of official rankings. Below, I play featherweight matchmaker.
Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar:
In the UFC 251 edition of ‘The Fallout’ on Monday evening – I noted how former featherweight titleholder, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway may find his next opponent from the main event of last night’s card. The Hawaiian has dropped three of his last four outings, and as noted previously, a change of pace for the fan-favourite, most certainly without a title on the line, would serve as a refreshing narrative. Why not switch things up against Calvin Kattar?
On their respective days, you’re unlikely to find better strikers at 145-pounds who are as technically sound as Holloway and Kattar. Even in his second consecutive loss to Volkanovski last weekend, Holloway mixed it up well, and if we see a performance that rivals his 2018 decimation of Brian Ortega – the still only 28-year-old is here to stay. As for Kattar, an eye-catching performance against someone of Holloway’s poise would go a massive way toward sending him to title contention for the first time in the promotion.
With Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodríguez set to meet, and a rescheduled bout between Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega linked – now’s the perfect time to consider Holloway vs. Kattar.
Dan Ige vs. Shane Burgos:
A former opponent of the aforenoted, Kattar – fellow division prospect, ‘Hurricane’ Shane Burgos would bring an action-packed fight with Dan Ige if the promotion book the two of them together next. Following his Fight of the Year candidate against Josh Emmett, New York native, Burgos controversially dropped out of the official top-fifteen pile but has subsequently been reintroduced at #12.
Similarly to the above-mentioned potential pairing of Holloway, and Kattar – a possible matching of Ige and Burgos would almost guarantee action. With slick boxing and adept grappling attributes on both sides, this prospect versus prospect clash allows either to rebound from hugely competitive decision losses and reemerge as an upcoming force to be reckoned with.