It was high fives and butt slaps for the Calvin Kattar camp following “The Boston Finisher’s” unanimous decision win over fellow featherweight contender Dan Ige, a grueling five-round war atop the “Fight Island” card last night (July 15) on ESPN in Abu Dhabi.
The victory may not have much of an impact on the current 145-pound rankings. Partly because Ige was sitting at No. 10 — four spots below Kattar — but mostly because the Top 5 is loaded with established veterans like Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung, just to name a few.
But one thing they don’t have is Kattar’s momentum.
“I go out, I fight, and I try to earn every opportunity in front of me,” Kattar said after the fight. “The champ should see that. He’s saying he wants contenders. You’re not going to find one more ready than myself. I think it would be a good opportunity to go out and compete against him. I proved I can go five rounds. Who’s my competition? No one’s been busy in 2020. I think I’m doing well for myself competing, earning opportunities and I can’t really say much for everybody else in the division.”
Kattar (22-4) is 2-0 this year, also beating Jeremy Stephens back in May.
Hurting his chances for an immediate title shot is “The Boston Finisher’s” unanimous decision loss to No. 2-ranked Zabit Magomedsharipov last November. That said, a win over anyone in the Top 5, including former champion Max Holloway, is likely to give Kattar next crack at the featherweight crown.
As for the champion, Alexander Volkanovski, he finally rid himself of “Blessed” with a second decision win over the Hawaiian at UFC 251 earlier this month on pay-per-view (PPV). No word yet on when “The Great” will return, but he’ll certainly have no shortage of opponents waiting for him.