For a card that will usher in the UFC’s venture with new broadcast partner ABC as well as the return of live spectators for the first time since last March, the promotion could hardly have chosen a more auspicious headliner than Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar. Not only are they both high-level contenders, but they are also two of the most reliably exciting fighters on roster, even by the lofty standards of the 145-pound division.
Beyond those similarities, however, the differences are noteworthy, though they are both fighters with something to prove. Holloway is a former champion facing a difficult road back to title contention after two competitive losses to Alexander Volkanovski. Kattar, on the other hand, is a rising contender who must make the best of his long-awaited showcase against a Top 5 foe. Despite Holloway being the younger of the two by nearly four years, it feels as though he is the one under pressure to prove he is not in decline, while Kattar wants to show that at 32, he has not even peaked. The presumptive next challenger for Volkanovski’s belt is Brian Ortega, who made a triumphant return to the Octagon last October, but it’s safe to say that both Volkanovski and Ortega will be watching ABC with considerable interest this weekend.
Here is the history of the UFC men’s featherweight title and the times it was won, lost or defended. Interim title fights are omitted with the exception of Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar 2, since the winner of that fight ended up being promoted to undisputed champ without a unification bout.
Ben Duffy/Sherdog.com illustration