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Max, Kattar promise fireworks as UFC returns to Abu Dhabi

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 14, 2021
Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar face off outside Etihad Arena ahead of their clash on UFC Fight Island. (Supplied photo)

Holloway is excited to feature in the first main card of the year

Max Holloway promises fireworks as the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island with a triple header showdown. The 29-year-old No.1 ranked featherweight star will take on sixth-ranked Calvin Kattar in the UFC Fight Island 7 on Saturday.

And just before their fight, there was an intense face-off in front of the newly built state-of-the-art Etihad Arena on Thursday.

Holloway is excited to feature in the first main card of the year, which is the inaugural event at the arena and significantly with a limited number of fans in attendance.

“This is the first fight with fans since March of last year. What a time to be alive. I am excited to get this opportunity and I can’t wait to go out there and do my thing,” Holloway told reporters.

In December of 2019, Holloway lost his title belt to Alexander Volkanovski and failed to win it back in the rematch held in July last year. When asked if he is vying for Volkanovski’s attention with a dominating performance over Kattar, Holloway underlined: “I can go in there and control what happens in the octagon. Outside the octagon my manager better does his job after this fight. But first things first, I got Kelvin. I got to respect that. I got my hands full come Saturday. I have to go ahead and do my job. I can’t wait.”

Holloway is feared for his strikes and straight punches into the body whereas Kattar is a technical fighter with a powerful mix of jabs, hooks and punches. Holloway holds a 21-6 record and Kattar 22-4. It’s an evenly matched encounter. However, unlike Holloway’s back-to-back losses in the past two bouts over Volkanovski, Kattar is on a two-win roll over Dan Ige and Jeremy Stephens.

The 32-year-old American termed the main card as a big moment of his career.

“Coming off wins, the moment only gets bigger. I have a big opportunity. I will go out and capitalise.”

Despite the losses Holloway suffered, Kattar is aware of the former champion’s mettle.

“I know Max very well. He’s right where he left off. People want to write you off after a couple of losses in this game but people think he won the last fight (against Volkanovski). Arguably, he wins that fight, he is still the champ and you guys think he is the best ever. So, I am ready to fight the best Max Holloway that stepped in the octagon. I am ready for 25 minutes,” Kattar added.

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.





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