Not since Kenny Florian’s heyday has a serious UFC title contender come out of the Boston area, but Calvin Kattar is right at the door.
In a UFC at the ESPN 13 main event that was to deliver the winner to the shortlist of top contenders for Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight title, Cats threw a game of Dan Ige for 25 minutes. The first three rounds were heavily questioned, but Kattar had more gas left in the tank during the championship rounds and pulled away for a unanimous decision victory. The judges’ scores were 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47.
Cats (22-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) chased Ige (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) from the start of the opening round, pushing forward and using punishing body shots to set up superior follow-ups. For his part, Ige was at his most effective when he landed counters, or recovered after Cats flurries and then caught him before he could recover. A sharp increase in Kort̵
Ige’s best round was the second. His best moment in the fight came when he used a large body shot to set up a brutal left that probably broke Cats’ nose, which he originally broke in his victory over Jeremy Stephens in May. Ige continued to land sharp combinations against the body and head as Cats seemed to lose their playing field.
“Dan is a tough kid,” said Kattar. “I think I’m stronger than these guys mentally and show it. I find it hard not to hurt in a fight with my style, but credit to Dan – he’s a tough kid. “
Kattar regrouped and came back into the fight, and while the third round was the least eventful of the fight, the end of Kattar had regained control when he successfully implemented his jab.
During the last two rounds, Kattar’s power became more pronounced. Ige stopped throwing combinations and contented himself with simple shots when he could find them, as demonstrated by Katter’s 23-7 and 27-11 edge in significant strikes in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively. Ige never gave up trying to find an opening, but Kattar did not intend to give it up, and ended the fight emphatically by letting Ige and dishing out the ground and pound until the final horn.
With the victory, Kattar has now won two straight and four of the last five. Ige got a six-winning winner who was snapped and was gracious in defeat.
“Calvin is one of the best in the world,” Ige said. “(I) came right out there and tested myself and tested my will. He’s super lick, man. “
The featherweight attack was the main event of the UFC on ESPN 13 at the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It was broadcast on ESPN and streamed on ESPN +.
Updated UFC on ESPN 13 results include:
- Calvin Kattar def. Dan Ige by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
- Tim Elliott def. Ryan Benoit by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jimmie Rivera def. Cody Stamann by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Taila Santos def. Molly McCann by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mounir Lazzez def. Abdul Razak Alhassan by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Khamzat Chimaev def. John Phillips Submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 1:12
- Lerone Murphy def. Ricardo Ramos via TKO (stroke) – round 1, 4:18
- Modestas Bukauskas def. Andreas Michailidis via TKO (strikes) – round 1, 5:00
- Jared Gordon def. Chris Fishgold by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
- Liana Jojua def. Diana Belbita via submission (arm bar) – round 1, 2:43
- Jack Shore def. Aaron Phillips via submission (back-naked choke) – round 2, 2:29