The former featherweight king is looking for the way to the Taj. Max Holloway will face Calvin Katar in a spectacular winged bowl in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is the first UFC show of the year, and the main card will air on ABC, home to boxing for several decades.
The winner of this fight may be next in line for a title opportunity. ESPN ranked Holloway at No. 2 and Katar at No. 6 in the winged division.
Holloway (21-6) has fallen two in a row to current champion Alexander Volkanowski. Both matches were very close and many thought Holloway won the second at UFC 251 in July. The 29-year-old Holloway is the most decorated wing in UFC history. He held the title of 145 pounds at the UFC from 2016 to 2019. The Hawaiian native has the most wins (16), the most KO / TKO wins (8) and the most stoppage wins (10) in UFC Fetweight history.
Kattar (22-4) has won four of his last five. The Massachusetts native has four finishes in six UFC wins. The 32-year-old Kattar was unanimously deciding on Dan Ige in July last year.
In the co-main event, two of the most exciting fighters in UFC welterweight history – Carlos Condit and Matt Brown – square off. Former UFC interim welterweight champion, Condit (31–13) broke a five-fight losing strep with a win over Court McGee in his recent bout. Brown (22–17) drew a two-fight winning streak in his latest bout against Miguel Beza.
Also on the card, welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibio returns after more than two years due to illness to face Li Jinglinag, and knockout artist Joaquin Buckley meets Alessio Di Chirico in a welterweight bout.
A strong card will provide an extra boost to adrenaline as fans will be allowed into the Etihad Arena. The building may have 18,000 seats, but only 2,000 fans will be allowed inside.
– UFC (@ufc) 16 January, 2021
The battle continues:
Heavyweight: Carlos Felipe (9-1, 1-1 UFC, -200) vs. Justin Tuffa (4-1, 1-1 UFC, +170)
Welterweight: Ramzan Amive (20-4, 5-1 UFC) defeated David Zavada (17-6, 1-3 UFC) by split decision
Women’s Bantamweight: Vanessa Mello (11-8, 1-3 UFC) unanimously defeated Sarah Mores (6-8, 3-6 UFC)
For three rounds, Melo threw power punches. He ate a few jabs in the process, and didn’t land every big hook, but it was enough for him to win.
Mello defeated the first UFC women’s bout of 2021, via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), in a women’s bantamweight bout.
The most important strike came in the second round. Melo kills a combination that comes out with a shovel to the left hook, ripping the morass in the nose. After the punch landed, Morus’s mouth closed and blood started coming out of his nose. Mores had some success with his jab and leg kick. But there was no doubt that Melo was hitting hard punches throughout the fight.
The 32-year-old Mello suffered a three-wicket defeat. Brazil won their first UFC win. The 32-year-old native of Canada has now dropped two straight and five of his last six.
Watch this fight on ESPN +.
Men’s featherweight: Austin Lingo (8-1, 1-1 UFC) defeated Jacob Kilburn (8-4, 0-2 UFC) unanimously
Lingo had not fought since his first defeat last February. But he did not delay getting back on track, leaving Kilburn within the first 30 seconds. But his work was not done yet.
After Kilburn climbed his feet to the right, Lingo pushed him forward to point at all three scorecards with sharp jabs, left hooks and pepper with more right hands.
It’s on the fly versus the buffer # UFCFightIsland7 4
– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) 16 January, 2021
Two judges won the battle 30–26 and others 30–27.
Kilburn did not make it easy, despite the scorecard omitted in their first fight since 2019. The 25-year-old from Tenneville, Tennessee, tried takedown after takedown, and appeared as a fresher contestant as soon as the fight took place. But he could not get out of the way of Lingo’s punches, and suffered his second straight defeat.
The 26-year-olds did not compete after the unanimous decision to defeat Yusuf Zalal last February, while fighting Lingo and Dallas.
Watch this fight no ESPN +.
still to come:
Men’s featherweight: Max Holloway (21-6, 17-6 UFC, -160) vs. Calvin Katar (22-4, 6-2 UFC, +135)
Welterweight: Carlos Condit (31-13, 8-9 UFC, -170) vs. Matt Brown (24-17, 15-11 UFC, +145)
Welterweight: Santiago Ponjinbio (28-3, 9-2 UFC, -310) vs. Li Jingliang (17-6, 9-4 UFC, +250)
Middleweight: Joaquin Buckley (12-3, 2-1 UFC, -300) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (12-5, 3-5 UFC, +240)
Middleweight: Punhale Soriano (7-0, 1-0 UFC, +135) vs. Duso Todorovic (10-0, 1-0 UFC, -160)
Women’s Bantamweight: Wu Yanon (11-3, 1-2 UFC, -115) vs. Josley Edwards (9-2, 0-0 UFC, -105)