The last time we saw Calvin Kattar inside the UFC’s Octagon, he was doing exactly what he had always dreamed about.
“I’ve been visualizing this since the day I started my career. Talking to you, Joe Rogan, at the TD Garden in front of the Boston crowd, what a dream come true this is. I couldn’t be happier,” Kattar shared after winning at UFC 220 in Boston Massachusetts.
Answering when opportunity knocks
Kattar has enjoyed an impressive run that includes only one narrow split decision loss in nearly ten years. The 30-year-old’s UFC introduction has turned the heads of featherweights looking to climb the division. Kattar made his promotional debut at UFC 214 in a short-notice bout against UFC veteran Andre Fili and won by unanimous decision. The Methuen, Massachusetts, native then got the call to square off with the undefeated Shane Burgos in his home state at UFC 220. Kattar finished Burgos via TKO in the third round in a bout worthy of ‘Fight of the Night’ honors.
With his second consecutive main card appearance, Kattar has an opportunity to surge into the top ten featherweight rankings. Like his two other UFC bouts, Kattar’s opponent for Saturday is no walk in the park. Renato Moicano holds an 11-1 record with his only loss coming via #1 contender and next in line for the 145lbs belt, Brian Ortega. The opportunity to fight Ortega came after winning his first three fights in the UFC, most notably against the current #5 ranked featherweight contender, Jeremy Stephens.
Sticking to the plan
A black belt on the ground, Moicano will look to stay away from the dangerous bombs that Kattar showcased two months ago. However, Kattar is well aware of Moicano’s strengths.
In an interview with NESN, Calvin discussed what he will do to come away victorious:
“If you look at all my fights, I like to stay on my feet. It’s not a secret, you can see the marks on my face. I enjoy it, I like to stand up and put on a show for the crowd. We’re going to try and touch him [Moicano] up with the hands and get the same finish we got in the Burgos fight.”
Kattar will be joined by fellow training partner Kyle Bochniak who was also successful at UFC 220. Kattar and Bochniak have spent time cross-training with veteran Joe Lauzon who will enter the octagon for the 26th time on Saturday. They will join UFC newcomer and Dana White’s Contender Series stand out, Mike Rodriguez, as the Massachusetts-based fighters look to go undefeated at UFC 223.