Former featherweight champion Max Holloway comes into his January 20 fight in the unusual position of having lost three of his last four fights — and his opponent that night, Calvin Kattar, says that Holloway shouldn’t expect an easy night.
After 13 straight wins in a four year span which brought him to UFC gold, Holloway has been defeated by Dustin Poirier and Alexander Volkanovksi (x2) in recent fights, and will need another win to resurrect his opportunities of another title fight with Australian champion Volkanovski.
But as far as Kattar is concerned, it won’t come easy. The Boston fighter has flown somewhat under the radar in the UFC’s 145-pounds division but his recent knockout of veteran fighter Jeremy Stephens and a clear-cut decision against fellow prospect Dan Ige has raised talk that he could be en route to a title bout of his own — and that’s what he intends to prove next month.
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“It’s a good opportunity to show that I’m that guy,” Kattar said via MMA Fighting. “There’s these guys out there touting Max like he’s still the champ, and I think he may even be still focused on the champ. But to overlook me would be a mistake.
“Any time you fight a guy like Max Holloway with the accolades he has, it is a championship-caliber fight,” he explained. “He might not have the belt right now, but it’s that type of fight, 100 percent. It’s a five-round main event fight and the only thing missing is the belt.
“I think anybody that wants to fight for the belt should have to go through Max,” he added. “To bypass Max on the way to the belt doesn’t make sense to me. If you want to be the champion, you have to take out Max Holloway on the way and I’ve got the opportunity in front of me. After Max, [the belt] would be the goal.”