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Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett full fight preview | UFC Austin

MMA: DEC 11 UFC 269 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight sluggers Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett will go to war TONIGHT (Sat., June 18, 2022) at UFC Austin inside Texas’ Moody Center.

Currently ranked inside the Featherweight Top 5, Kattar rebounded from his infamous loss to Max Holloway in a major way last time out, pulverizing Giga Chikadze to hand the kickboxer his first UFC loss. He’s back in the hunt, looking to begin a new win streak and move closer to the 145-pound belt. Emmett’s been similarly focused on the Featherweight title for quite some time. He’s dealt with adversity with injuries and subsequent time off, but Emmett enters his first main event slot on a four-fight win streak and looks to earn a title shot.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 57 On ESPN+

LIGHTWEIGHT CONTENDERS CLASH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., June 25, 2022, with a thrilling Lightweight contenders’ bout featuring No. 11-ranked Arman Tsarukyan taking on No. 12-seeded Mateusz Gamrot. In UFC Vegas 57’s co-main event, No. 10-ranked Welterweight, Neil Magny, will attempt to halt the momentum of undefeated Shakvat Rakhmonov (No. 15).

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Calvin Kattar

Record: 23-5
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), Zabit Magomedsharipov (UFC Fight Night 163), Renato Moicano (UFC 223)
Keys to Victory: Kattar is a very skilled boxer, able to build smart combinations off a stinging jab. He’s also darn tough and hits plenty hard, and last time out, proved that he’s equally dangerous with his elbows and knees.

The jab is certainly Kattar’s biggest weapon here, but it’s also a risk. Kattar has to use that weapon to establish his distance and start lining up the right hand, but Emmett will surely be looking to come over the top with the right. To ensure he’s on the giving end of that exchange, Kattar has to actively feint and switch up the timing on his lead hand.

Kattar is the taller and rangier man. He’d be wise to try to take advantage of this distance, to touch Emmett with a long strike, pull away and answer when Emmett attempts to return fire. In addition, Kattar could mix front kicks up the middle, a strategy he employed well versus Burgos.

In general, flicking up high kicks is a good idea. Emmett moves his feet and head well, and that rhythm is essential to how he lands power shots. If kicks are interrupting his flow, he’s likely to eat more shots as a result.

Josh Emmett

Record: 17-2
Key Wins: Dan Ige (UFC 269), Shane Burgos (UFC on ESPN 11), Mirsad Bektic (UFC Fight Night 174), Ricardo Lamas (UFC on FOX 26), Michael Johnson (UFC on ESPN 2)
Key Losses: Jeremy Stephens (UFC on FOX 28), Desmond Green (UFC 210)
Keys to Victory: Emmett hits absurdly hard. He’s a deceptively slick and well-conditioned boxer, but the bottom line is that Emmett wins fights because he consistently knocks opponents senseless. At 145 pounds, Emmett has knocked down each and every one of his seven opponents at least once.

Perhaps the single biggest strategic key here for Josh Emmett is to avoid chasing the right hand knockout. Of course, that’s still the eventual goal, but Emmett fights far more effectively when he’s mixing up his strikes.

At his best, Emmett is changing rhythms, targeting the body, and even chopping the leg occasional with kicks. When he’s shifting directions and stances, he becomes very hard to track down. Suddenly, Emmett is walking his opponent into hard counters or catching his opponent off-guard by suddenly bursting forward with combinations.

If Emmett can remain mobile, crafty, and walk Kattar into something heavy, that’s his best shot at scoring the finish.

Bottom Line

The Featherweight title mix is a mess, but the stakes are huge here.

These are two of the highest ranked Featherweights in the world who have yet to fight for the title. After Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski finally settle their business, the victor of this bout has a fair argument for a shot at UFC gold. Emmett definitely would have the strong case, having won his last four opposite excellent opposition. Topping that streak off by knocking off a Top Five contender would be huge, perhaps the final push needed to get him in the cage with either Holloway or Volkanovksi.

Conversely, defeat would be devastating for either man. Neither contender is young for the division; they’re both in their prime. At this stage, any loss really hurts, and rebuilding for a title shot becomes far more difficult.

At UFC Austin, Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett will battle in the main event. Which man remains standing when the dust settles?

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Austin fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.

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