New England Cartel moving forward, Kattar willing to face Holloway if title shot doesn’t materialize.
Calvin Kattar defeated Dan Ige in the main event of UFC Fight Island 1 earlier this month. With that win, Kattar has solidified himself as a top contender in the featherweight division, and is very much in the title conversation. In catching up with the man who has been with him since the beginning, his coach and manager Tyson Chartier, it’s clear that the team is ready for any big names. Including the former champion Max Holloway.
“We want to take everyone out. Kattar is already running, I’m sure he wants to get back in there within a few months,” Chartier explained. “If it is Max, he’s the GOAT of the division, you couldn’t fight a tougher guy. Going into that fight, you beat him, that’s almost like winning a title.”
“If we have to go out there and beat him to get the title shot, then that’s what we’re going to do,” he added.
Another option for the “Boston Finisher” would be the champion, Alexander Volkanovski, who just had a razor thin win over Holloway for his first title defense. Kattar is 2-0 in 2020, and none of the other top contenders have fought this year, never mind won. Could Kattar’s activity and wins warrant a title shot? That’s in the hands of the champion.
“That is up to Volkanovski and what direction the UFC is going in,” Chartier explained. “The trilogy fight is still a possibility, if Volk wants to stay busy and not fight Max again, we are next in line. Kattar has the most wins in the top ten since 2019 in the division. We have a good case.”
Chartier knows Kattar is ready to fight for a title, whenever that opportunity will present itself. The TopGame Management owner said that he received some backlash on accepting the Ige fight for “fighting backwards,” but Chartier stands by that decision.
“Someone is always fighting backwards,” Chartier told Cageside Press. “We got the chance to fight the top 10 guy or sit around and wait, but wait for who? You look at the top five none of them are busy, they twitter beef but no one is signed for a fight. We took the bull by the horns and got the win.”
Fighting is a game of risks, whether it be fighting someone ranked below you or waiting on another chance to arise. The problem is with the pandemic, no one knows when another chance may arise. By Kattar defeating Ige in a five round war he has shown he is willing to step in whenever and against whoever to control his own activity and destiny in the division.
“We knew the risks involved. I have all the confidence in the world in Calvin. We got the job done,” observed Chartier.
This is now the second time Kattar has fought without a crowd during the pandemic. The UFC has spiced up their fan interactions by using a ‘live tweet’ scroll during broadcasts. Chartier says that the live tweets actually helped the team coach as they continued to see scores coming in at “3-1 Kattar” going into the final round. Also on the broadcast, fellow Bostonian Jon Anik praised “The New England Cartel” and Chartier. For the locals of this region that name isn’t new, but to the world they are playing catch up to the Cartel.
“It’s validation. We already know we are doing it. We aren’t cocky, I’m just saying look at Rob [Font], look at Kattar” Chartier exclaimed. “We are laying a blue print down for how to train without being in a ‘mega-camp’ and having trust between ourselves and the process.”
Chartier, one of the top coaches and managers in not only New England, but in the fight game as a whole, looks for the continued success of Calvin Kattar and all of the members of the infamous New England Cartel. What the next step for Kattar is remains to be seen, but it’s likely to be a big one.