Rising UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar has a piece of advice for his upcoming opponent, the division’s former champion Max Holloway.
Kattar and Holloway are slated to collide in the main event of a January 16 card on Fight Island. Heading into the matchup, Kattar has some advice for the former champion: Don’t overlook the challenge at hand.
“It’s a good opportunity to show that I’m that guy,” Kattar said on What the Heck (via MMA Fighting). “There’s these guys out there touting Max like he’s still the champ, and I think he may even be still focused on the champ. But to overlook me would be a mistake.
“Any time you fight a guy like Max Holloway with the accolades he has, it is a championship-caliber fight,” Kattar added. “He might not have the belt right now, but it’s that type of fight, 100 percent. It’s a five-round main event fight and the only thing missing is the belt.
“It’s all about Max Holloway and I don’t plan on leaving it close,” Kattar continued. “I think anybody that wants to fight for the belt should have to go through Max,” Kattar stated. “To bypass Max on the way to the belt doesn’t make sense to me. If you want to be the champion, you have to take out Max Holloway on the way and I’ve got the opportunity in front of me. After Max, [the belt] would be the goal.
“Whoever wanted that opportunity had it when they could’ve fought Max but I don’t see too many people chomping at the bit to fight him besides myself.”
Interestingly, Kattar and Holloway share a number of stylistic similarities. However, Kattar believes he possesses a clear edge in the power department, which could be a crucial factor in the fight.
“It’s different when you fight a guy that has similar reach and, not only the reach, but can fight that style of fighting long,” Kattar said. “I think both of us present problems that neither one of us have faced before, and we’ll find out what’s up come Jan. 16.
“It’s coming close, and all it is here is finishing camp strong – dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s – and I’ve been ready to go all-year long. Jan. 16 can’t come soon enough.”
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