Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight boxers Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen will go to war TONIGHT (Sat., Oct. 29, 2022) at UFC Vegas 63 from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fighters don’t come much more hard-nosed than Kattar (and that’s not a reference to his actual nose, which has clearly been broken a dozen times). “The Boston Finisher” rose quickly up the Featherweight ranks and dove into the deep end, routinely taking on the sport’s best and largely giving them all they can handle. He hasn’t managed to score a title shot yet, but no one is disrespecting Kattar’s skills or grit. Conversely, Allen is nine fights and nine wins into his UFC career. That type of streak would typically generate a bit more fanfare, but the English talent has taken his time. He’s been on the roster for seven years now, and perhaps this is the fight in which he claims a spot in the title mix.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Giga Chikadze (UFC Vegas 46), Dan Ige (UFC on ESPN 13), Jeremy Stephens (UFC 249), Ricardo Lamas (UFC 238), Shane Burgos (UFC 220), Andre Fili (UFC 214)
Key Losses: Max Holloway (UFC Fight Island 7), Josh Emmett (UFC Austin), Zabit Magomedsharipov (UFC Fight Night 163), Renato Moicano (UFC 223)
Keys to Victory: Kattar is an a very strong boxer with a granite chin and good power in his hands. He can manage distance with the jab well, close forward with a cracking right hand, and land heavy shots from the back foot.
In this bout, Katter likely will have to be the man pressing forward. Though Kattar is actually the slightly longer and taller fighter, Allen is the more committed range striker of the two. His whole game revolves around winning the jab battle and distance exchanges, so meeting him head-on in his strongest area is probably not the best idea.
Fortunately, Kattar knows how to pressure and make it more than a boxing match. He demonstrated those skills opposite Chikadze, herding the kickboxing into the fence and big punches alike. He also showed an ability to competently close distance from the boxing range, either to score elbows or takedowns.
Both would be useful in this 25-minute clash versus Allen.
Key Wins: Sodiq Yusuff (UFC Vegas 23), Dan Hooker (UFC London), Gilbert Melendez (UFC 239), Makwan Amirkhani (UFC Fight Night 107), Mads Burnell (UFC Fight Night 130)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but Allen is also an excellent boxer! He’s perhaps not quite as damaging as Kattar, but he also tends to take fewer shots also due to his commitment to establishing the jab and controlling distance. He’s still managed to stop 10 opponents via strikes or submission.
The jab is surely Allen’s best weapon and his path to victory here. This is a battle of men accustomed to winning the lead hand battle, but “Almighty” relies on that tool more heavily. He’s won fights entirely on the strength of his jab and footwork, so getting that weapon going early is essential to his success.
In any jabber duel, low kicks can be a major weapon. Any time the left arm is extended forward, that lead left leg is also vulnerable. Between the two, Allen is the better calf kicker, and that strategy has worked opposite Kattar previously. Notably, Moicano really took apart Kattar by drawing the boxing into exchanges then ripping apart his lead leg until he was noticeably less dangerous.
If Allen can establish his jab, his low kicks will follow too. Then, he’ll be firmly leading the dance.
This is a pretty huge fight for each man.
Kattar may be 2-2 in his last four, but he’s still a Top Five Featherweight, and his battle with Emmett last time out was extremely close. In short, he remains in the immediate mix. The result here could change that fact, however. Knocking off Allen is a big win, and similar to his strong showing over Chikadze, it would reaffirm Kattar as an elite Featherweight. If he loses, however, he’s going to slip down the rankings and likely land in more of a gatekeeper role.
As for “Almighty,” he’s been building this win streak for so long. This main event opportunity is well-deserved, and it’s the fruit of his labor. He may not get a title shot with a win, but a title eliminator next would seem quite likely. However, if his win streak ends tonight, Allen will have to go to work at building another to regain his current momentum — ideally in more rapid fashion.
At UFC Vegas 63, Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen will square off in the main event. Which man earns the victory?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 63 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
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