UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar (19-3) just wants a chance to prove he belongs with the very best in his division.
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Kattar is 3-1 since making his UFC debut in 2017 and most recently defeated Chris Fishgold via TKO in October to bounce back from his defeat to Renato Moicano at UFC 223.
Like Moicano does for most of his fights, he executed a solid game plan by point fighting, constantly striking and moving away as he eventually won a unanimous decision against Kattar. He notably outstruck Kattar by 76 strikes.
Moicano’s game plan
The New England native acknowledges he was beaten by Moicano on the night, and predicts the Brazilian will emerge triumphant against “The Korean Zombie” at UFC Greenville next month. However, he still wasn’t really a fan of the way Moicano won.
“I think it’ll [the winner] definitely be Moicano because he tries to go in more with a game plan and try sticking with it as you saw with me,” Kattar told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko.
“I mean, I don’t know man, as far as I’m concerned, that was just leg kicking and moving, leg kicking and moving, backing up, backing up. Whatever – he did what he had to do to win an MMA fight. Props to him, yeah he got the W, but I didn’t get fucked up or nothing. Yeah, you kicked my leg bro, good for you.
“In respect to that, props, he had an intelligent fight. I think he did a good job of adjusting in the fight. I see him getting the nod [against The Korean Zombie], but it’s great to see guys that I’m competing against headlining cards. It’s motivating for me, and also him going up against top talent, doing well, it helps my ranking.
“We keep climbing to the top, there’s going to be nowhere for anyone else to go but to compete against [us]. So I look forward to running into all these matchups in the top 15, whether it’s now or later and just showing why I belong to the top.”
Testing himself against contenders
With Kattar back on the win column, he gets a chance to do just that as he now gets a former title challenger in Ricardo Lamas as his next opponent. That bout will take place at UFC 238 on June 8 in Chicago, Illinois.
Lamas is also currently ranked #10 and with Kattar at #15, he is excited to test himself against a longtime contender.
“I mean, the guys they were throwing around, anybody in the top 15 man, let’s go. Everybody’s tough, you don’t get into the UFC unless you’re tough,” Kattar explained.
“[Him] being a former title challenger, that’s great for me on a personal level, knowing that I’ll go out and compete and test myself against guys that are fighting for the belt and show why I belong in those matchups. That’s what we have in front of us and I’m just excited to go out and test myself with the guys that call themselves the best.”
Who wins the UFC 240 headliner?
A win over Lamas would ideally put Kattar in the top 10, and a couple more wins could see the 31-year-old potentially challenge for a title shot in the future.
Max Holloway, of course, is still the reigning 145-pound king. He is scheduled to defend his title next against Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 240 on July 27.
So who does Kattar have winning that fight?
“You know, Max is the champ, man. He’s a big guy for that division, he’s real rangy, real long. I feel like he can get the job done. But I do like Frankie Edgar, man. He’s an OG in the game, how can you not like that guy? I’m just excited to be a fan for that one. But I would give the nod to Holloway in that one, especially coming off a loss. He’s probably pretty hungry and going to go out and put on a show. He hasn’t tasted a loss in how long? I think he responds well.
“But with my Eat Clean Bro guys, I got the Frankie Edgar meal prep inside the refrigerator so I kind of feel bad not giving him the nod in that one. But it’ll be a hell of a fight for sure.”
Calvin Kattar is set to fight Ricardo Lamas at the upcoming UFC 238 event. The main card will be exclusively available via the ESPN+ streaming service for UFC fans in the United States. Learn more.