In one sense, it doesn’t matter if Calvin Kattar was fighting Max Holloway on national television or in a half-empty nightclub.
Either way, Kattar will be squaring off against one of the sport’s greatest featherweights in a headlining battle where a victory could do wonders for his career. However, “The Boston Finisher” acknowledges that it is significant to be part of the promotion’s first ever event on ABC on Jan. 16.
“Honestly, it’s always the same risk, [so] it’s nice to have a backside reward,” Kattar recently said on the ”UFC Unfiltered” podcast. “There’s a lot more eyes on it, so cool. I’m all for it. I know it’s gonna be a big opportunity. It’s the same fight. It’s the same Octagon. It’s the same 25 minutes. It’s just more eyes on it. Like I said, it’s the same risk – just more reward.”
Kattar then jokingly points out that his upcoming fight might be more accessible for a certain demographic.
“You know what it’s easier for? Telling people over the age of 35 how to watch it.”
Kattar comes into the matchup on a two-bout winning streak following a vicious KO of Jeremy Stephens at UFC 249 and a five-round deicsion over Dan Ige at UFC on ESPN 13. Holloway, meanwhile, was angling for a trilogy with reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski following a controversial split-decision loss at UFC 251. Instead, Holloway will have to earn his way back to the top against a hungry contender in Kattar.
“It was a very close fight and I thought that Max might’ve got the nod that nod that one time I saw it. Credit to both of them,” Kattar said of Holloway’s last bout. “It’s a championship-level fight and I think he’s got another one with me.”
Holloway is likely to come into UFC on ABC 1 with added motivation following back-to-back setbacks against Volkanovski. Kattar is aware of that fact but adds that he strives to remain focused no matter what his recent record looks like.
“They say everyone’s dangerous coming off two losses. I feel like I’m always stepping in there with the mindset I’m coming off two losses too,” Kattar said. “I’m challenging myself to go in with that same mentality. I go in there hungry every time I step in there. I know how big this moment is for my career. I’m ready.”