Tonight at UFC 249 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, Jeremy Stephens faced off against Calvin Kattar.
Their featherweight collision got off to a hasty start as Stephens came in at 150.5 lbs during the weigh-in, 4.5 pounds over the 145 lbs weight division. Kattar also tipped the scaled at 146 pounds, but he entered the fight as a -230 favorite (according to BetOnline).
“The Boston Finisher”, Calvin Kattar, has amassed a 20-4 record and holds a two-inch height advantage and one-inch reach advantage against his featherweight opponent. Kattar has also claimed all of his last three victories by TKO. His only two losses in the UFC have come by unanimous decision against Zabit Magomedsharipov and Renato Carneiro.
Jeremy Stephens entered the bout coming off a loss against Yair Rodriguez. Their first matchup ended in a controversial no-contest after Stephens suffered an accidental eye poke at the hands of his adversary. Their rematch was a disappointment for Stephens as Rodriguez claimed the unanimous decision victory. Prior to that, Stephens also lost to Magomedsharipov and Jose Aldo.
Tonight in their main event clash, Stephens started the bout on top form and administered some hard leg kicks to his opponent. Calvin Kattar responded by utilizing his reach to execute some beautiful combos and clean right hands. In the second round, both fighters continued to push forward and swing at each other. Towards the end of the second round, Kattar threw a devastating elbow that dropped Jeremy Stephens. He followed up with ground and pound to seal the explosive knock-out victory.
In his post-fight Octagon interview, Calvin Kattar admitted that he was frustrated that Jeremy Stephens missed weight by almost five pounds. However, both fighters showed respect to each other and Kattar can expect to jump up the UFC featherweight rankings following his statement UFC 249 win.
Find out the pro reactions to their featherweight battle below.
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) May 10, 2020
Damn huge right hand by Kattar
— Funky (@Benaskren) May 10, 2020
Beast ! https://t.co/GU1s12s9VN
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) May 10, 2020
I remember being a fresh pro in ‘08 and going to regional events in Des Moines and Jeremy Stevens being god like and was where all of us wanted to be. He’s the definition of an OG. Great performance by Kattar, but gutted for Jeremy.
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartasmith) May 10, 2020
Calvin Kattar just has good fights, I wanna say every fight I’ve seen has been a clean striking display
— Louis Smolka (@LASTSAMURAIUFC) May 10, 2020
I'm not sure there has ever been a bad Jeremy Stephens fight. #UFC249
— Brian Campbell (@BCampbell) May 10, 2020
Lovely explosive first round !! #UFC249
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) May 10, 2020
Some beautiful combinations from Kattar #UFC249
— Jeremy Brand (@JeremyBrand604) May 10, 2020
— Adam Catterall (@AdamCatterall) May 10, 2020
#UFC249!!!! These athletes are throwing down tonight!!!
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 10, 2020
Kattar joins Jose Aldo and Yves Edwards as the only ones to score a KO/TKO against Stephens in his 47 fight career.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) May 10, 2020
Woah! Kattar with the smashing right elbow that drops Stephens and follows up with a slicing left elbow. I liked that #ufc249
— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) May 10, 2020
— John Gooden (@JohnGoodenUK) May 10, 2020
What was your reaction to Calvin Kattar’s KO victory over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 249?