The UFC’s matchmakers no doubt knew what they were doing when the booked Max Holloway against Calvin Kattar to kick off UFC Fight Island 7, the first card of the promotion’s 2021 year. Not to mention the UFC’s first card on ABC.
What played out was nothing short of incredible.
Max Holloway showed a drive to return to the win column and put his back-to-back losses against Alexander Volkanovski behind him. He looked to start the year off by placing the “Blessed Express” back on the track to title contention, hoping to leave Fight Island with a statement over a striking tactician like Kattar.
For Calvin Kattar, this had to be one of the biggest fights of his career. To have the opportunity to fight in a main event against a former champion is added motivation to get the job done and have your hand raised. Beating Holloway, who took the current champ the distance, would be a huge boost on the resume, and would leave no doubt that he is the next one in line for who ever emerges victorious between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.
Max Holloway’s volume and striking output made the difference, and he mixed up his strikes with diversity. Kattar was left waiting, trying to figure out the puzzle that Holloway was creating inside the Octagon. Pressure and volume of the the vicious strikes opened up a nasty cut on Kattar and it looked like Holloway had the finish at the end of the second – but Kattar was saved by the bell.
For Max Holloway, it no doubt felt great to hear the fans chant his name, and Bruce Buffer announce him as victor. But even better, he started up a revival of the Blessed Era.
Check below to see how the pros reacted to the UFC Fight Island 7 main event between Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar!
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) January 16, 2021
Max Holloway 🤯
— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) January 16, 2021
One of the craziest I’ve ever seen#UFCFightIsland7
— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) January 16, 2021
— Eryk Anders (@erykanders) January 16, 2021
Max looking sharp tonight #UFCFightIsland7
— Zabit Magomedsharipov (@zabeast_mma) January 16, 2021
Never seen anything like this!!! #UFCFightIsland7
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) January 16, 2021
Ok now I’m im impressed I was kidding #UFCFightIsland7
— Yair Rodriguez (@panteraufc) January 16, 2021
Wow big boy shit what a fight😈😈😈
— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) January 16, 2021
I believe we are watching the best 145er in the world fight right now 🔥 #UFConABC1
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) January 16, 2021
— Katlyn Chookagian (@blondefighter) January 16, 2021
Y’all must’ve forgot
— Chito Vera (@chitoveraUFC) January 16, 2021
— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) January 16, 2021
Max is a killer
— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) January 16, 2021
— Kai Kara France (@kaikarafrance) January 16, 2021
It’s some good fights today 💯👊🏼
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 16, 2021
Truly inspired. Beautiful performance.
— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) January 16, 2021
Holy shit, Max Holloway fucking wow
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) January 16, 2021
Max is a savage!!! Blessed Express showing there are levels to this 😲 #UFCFightIsland7
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) January 16, 2021
Max looking tip top!
— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) January 16, 2021