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UFC 220’s Calvin Kattar: “We’re Going to Have People Standing Out of Their Seats”

UFC featherweight Calvin Kattar talks fighting at home, Shane Burgos and his upset victory in his UFC debut.

This past summer, UFC 214 was supposed to feature a featherweight tilt between Andre “Touchy” Fili and the surging “Korean Super Boy” Dooho Choi had everyone talking.  However, a few weeks prior to the event, Choi suffered an injury, forcing him out of the bout.  With still almost a month to go before fight night, the public consensus was that the UFC would easily be able to find another big name opponent for the Team Alpha Male product to take on.

Inexplicably, days turned to weeks, and still there was still no announcement.  When UFC newcomer, and relative unknown, Calvin Kattar‘s name was finally announced just a handful of days prior to the event, most who followed the sport rolled their eyes.  They had all seen it before; a young up-and-comer being brought in on short notice, ill-prepared for the beating they were about to receive.

On July 29th, 2o17 at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California, Massachusetts’s Calvin Kattar (17-2, 1-0 UFC) spoiled the narrative on national television.  Coming into the fight as a sizable underdog, Kattar put on a clinic.  The UFC debutant dominated the veteran, outpointing him on all three judges’s scorecards.  The consensus went from doubt to belief.  “The Boston Finisher” Calvin Kattar had become a name to watch in the 145 pound division.

#SQUAD #TeamKattar #TeamFont #TeamBochniak #UFC220 #Boston #TDGarden

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Despite the short-notice nature of his debut, Kattar believes he still could have done better in Anaheim.  “Given the short notice, I was happy with the performance,” says Kattar.  “I felt like I could have done more, but I saw myself [being] up two going into the third.  I just wanted to put away the W that time.”

This Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts Calvin Kattar will return to take on rising featherweight star Shane Burgos (10-0, 3-0 UFC), live on pay-per-view.  Kattar is happy to be able to have a full camp this time around, in order to put on a true display of what he has to offer.  “This time we’ve got ten weeks and it’s in my backyard,” says Kattar.  “I plan to go out there and put on a show.”

Fighting for the UFC in his home state of Massachusetts, just a half hour drive from where he grew up, Kattar calls his upcoming fight “a dream come true.”  “I’ve always wanted to compete in the Garden,” says Kattar.  “This is where I grew up and I’ve always gone there for the biggest events in town.  This opportunity is a blessing.  I’m going to go out there and whatever happens, happens, but I’m going to be able to say that I was offered this opportunity and I took it.”

Throughout his career on the regional scene, Calvin Kattar was known for filling New England ballrooms with family and friends coming from far and near to watch him fight.  The 29-year-old featherweight believes Saturday’s fight will be no different.  “We’re going to surprise some people with how much we fill up that room,” says Kattar.  “I’m going to go out there and put on a show for all of my friends, family and everyone who started with me.”

His opponent, undefeated New Yorker Shane Burgos is thought to be one of the brightest 145 pound up-and-comers the UFC has in their bullpen.  Since signing with the UFC in late 2016, Burgos has torn through all three of his opponents, including New Englander Charles “Boston Strong” Rosa.  Burgos will be no easy task for the Methuen, Massachusetts native.  “He’s a tough fight,” says Kattar.  “I’m just excited to go out there and test myself.  It’ll be a great fight for everyone in attendance.  Both of us are primarily stand-up guys and we’re not afraid to stand in there and exchange.  I figure we’re going to have people standing out of their seats for this fight.”

During this camp, Calvin Kattar, as well as his coaches and fellow teammates, decided to take a trip out to the brand new UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.  Kattar, along with teammates Rob Font and Kyle Bochniak, were able to get some quality training in at the state-of-the-art facility in preparation of their bouts this weekend.  “They really took care of us out there,” says Kattar.  “It was a great break up from the ten week camp.  It just kind of rejuvenated the guys.  You’ll see all three of us put on some great fights.”

KATTAR vs BURGOS!!! #UFC220 #TDGarden #Boston

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Being a fighter is tough, as is being a fight promoter.  Calvin Kattar has the unique attribute of being both.  Serving as the promoter of the New Hampshire-based promotion, Combat Zone MMA, Kattar gives a ton of credit to the individuals he has surrounded himself with.  “It’s good that I have a team around me that helps out big time,” explains Kattar.  “They kind of take the reins when I’ve got a big fight coming up like this, because it does demand your full focus.”

When Calvin Kattar wakes up on Sunday, the day after his bout at the TD Garden, he believes he and his two teammates will each have one more “W” on their record.  “I just see myself and my teammates getting our hands raised,” predicts Kattar.  “A finish would be great, but I just want to go out and just let it go.  I’m playing with house money now.  I’m just going to go out and have fun.”


To learn more about Calvin Kattar, follow him on social media:
Facebook: Team Kattar MMA
Twitter: @CalvinKattar
Instagram: @calvinkattar



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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.