Calvin Kattar believes his road to the UFC featherweight championship goes through former titleholder Max Holloway. The two top featherweight contenders will meet in the headliner of UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar on January 16th on Fight Island. This will be the UFC's first event of 2021.
Speaking to MMA Fighting's Mike Heck, Kattar explained that he believes anyone who wants to hold the 145-pound title will have to beat Holloway to get there:
"Yeah, definitely. That’s why I had said previous to getting the matchup with Max, I think anybody that wants to fight for the belt should have to go through Max, especially that one being so close. To bypass Max on your way to the belt just doesn’t make sense to me. You want to be the champ, you’ve got to take on Max Holloway on your way, and I have that opportunity in front of me."
Kattar added that if he can indeed get the better of Holloway, he hopes to be next in line for a shot at reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski:
"Like you said, I think after Max, that would be the goal, and whoever wanted that opportunity had it when they could have fought Max, but I don’t see too many people jumping at the bit to do it, other than myself."
Calvin Kattar is coming off back-to-back wins against a pair of ranked featherweights in Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige.
Max Holloway, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back defeats to reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski in UFC featherweight title bouts.
Calvin Kattar faces biggest test of UFC career in Max Holloway
Calvin Kattar will be taking on possibly the biggest test of his young UFC career when he meets former long-time featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night on January 16th.
Kattar made his UFC debut back in 2017 and immediately made a splash by scoring back-to-back wins over Andre Fili and Shane Burgos. The Massachusetts-native then suffered his first career loss in his third UFC fight at the hands of Renato Moicano.
Calvin Kattar bounced back with another pair of wins, finishing both Chris Fishgold and former title challenger Ricardo Lamas by TKO. But he would suffer another setback in the form of a unanimous decision loss to Zabit Magomedsharipov.
In his last two Octagon appearances, Kattar knocked out Jeremy Stephens and decisioned Dan Ige to earn a shot at former featherweight ruler Max Holloway.
Holloway easily represents the toughest test in Kattar's UFC career. The former champion held the title from 2016 to 2019 and has wins over the likes of Charles Oliveira, Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo (twice), and Frankie Edgar.
If Calvin Kattar can defeat Holloway, he cements his status as the next man in line for a UFC featherweight title shot.Published 28 Dec 2020, 19:00 IST