Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar weren’t initially supposed to headline UFC Fight Night 163.
But after Greg Hardy agreed to replace Junior dos Santos on short notice and face Alexander Volkov, that heavyweight bout was moved to the co-main event. As a result, the featherweight contenders were elevated to the evening’s featured fight. However, it remained a three-round contest.
That might have hindered Kattar, who finished with a strong third round but ultimately dropped a unanimous verdict to Magomedsharipov in Moscow on Saturday. Kattar doesn’t have any regrets accepting a three-round fight, although he is curious how things might have turned out with another 10 minutes.
“I’d like to see what would’ve happened with five rounds,” Kattar said at the post-fight press conference. “But the fight was three and hat’s off to him for fighting a good three-round fight.”
The bout, which was originally scheduled for UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston, earned “Fight of the Night” honors. Kattar thought the scorecards might have been even closer than they were.
“I knew it was going to be a close fight,” Kattar said. “First round was real close, the second round he edged it, the third round I edged it. So it could’ve been a toss-up. I think I got a little late start and finished strong.”
While he wasn’t suprised by any of his opponent’s attacks, “The Boston Finisher” admits that it took him a little too long to get into a rhythm. That ultimately cost him a victory.
“I waited too long. He threw what I thought he would throw. I thought I defended most of it pretty well,” Kattar said.
“A lot of his stuff was flashy, got a lot of oohs and aahs. It did the job, but it didn’t phase me very much.”