Tonight’s UFC Fight Night 213 main event is a featherweight clash between Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen.
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Kattar is currently ranked #5 in the division after recently being defeated by Josh Emmett by split decision in June. Arnold has moved up to #6 in the rankings following an impressive nine-fight win streak in the UFC. The event takes place at the UFC Apex facility in Nevada and will air on ESPN+.
Read on for the Kattar vs. Allen fight breakdown, and prediction before the main event begins.
Calvin Kattar is the busier fighter, he’s going to want to draw out the more chaotic fight and be the one pressing forward. We have seen one of the issues for Kattar being fighters who can force him onto the backfoot reacting to them like Max Holloway or who can move in and out like Josh Emmett so as to stunt Kattar’s ability to march them down with his boxing. Allen is a much more patient and methodical fighter than these two, he is likely going to want to stay on the outside and test Kattar technically, but this also allows Kattar to bully his way in a little easier than he has with others. That being said the patience and range of Allen also means he isnt going to come crashing onto one of Kattar’s counter combinations or elbows too easily.
The next big asset for Kattar in this fight is that it is five rounds. Kattar has fought to the 25-minute mark in all four of his last fights win or lose and typically gets better as the fight goes on because he moves forward, does not over-extend or waste much movement. While his boxing and elbow-dominant approach isn’t always the most diverse, it is efficient and direct, and Allen will be preparing for a fifth round for the first time in his UFC career, although we haven’t seen signs of him fatiguing yet.
Allen will come in with loads of confidence based on his 9-fight win streak and knowing that as good as Kattar is offensively he is often there to be hit. It will be a big test on his footwork and being able to force Kattar to have to adjust to his angles and not just march forward behind his jab. This will also cut off the volume of Kattar if he is constantly adjusting to the movement of Allen and if Allen can land counters in these moments he can score.
Kattar showed a lot of maturity in his fight with Giga Chikadze a few contests back, partially in his ability to truly mix up his approach and implement his grappling. This could be a good way to force Allen to keep guessing and drag him into deeper waters but an excellent front choke game from Allen is also a deterrent. In general, while Kattar may go to his wrestling, I don’t expect this to be a large approach because Allen has a substantial submission game compared to Kattar, but we may see Kattar look to grapple on the fence in order to drag Allen into deeper waters and find his elbows and other clinch strikes.
In the end, I think that to win Allen will have to rise to the occasion, we haven’t seen him face the level of Kattar outside of a quick win over Dan Hooker, and we definitely haven’t seen him sustain Kattar’s pace for five rounds. If he can, however, I do think he can use angles and not get drawn into the kind of firefight where Kattar finds his best shots. I think we see a good prominent boxing match where Allen is a bit more accurate.
Prediction: Arnold Allen to win
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.