Austin, TX – UFC Austin’s main event saw hard-hitting featherweights Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett collide, with the potential of the winner landing in the title picture.
Title aspirations aside, however, the match-up was simply an explosive one on paper, and ergo smart matchmaking on the part of the UFC.
Kattar (23-5) was coming off a huge win over Giga Chikadze back in January where he took a decision victory.
Emmett (17-2) got this bout off a four-fight win streak. He last fought at UFC 269 where he earned a decision victory over Dan Ige.
With both men at or near the top of the UFC’s featherweight division the winner was set to stake a claim at being a title contender.
Round one started with both men waiting for the other to fire off a heavy shot in order to counter. It was a stare down for the first couple of minutes but Kattar began to pop the jab out and landing on Emmett. Emmett would take his time, measure Kattar up, and throw heavy combinations. Kattar preferred to stay just out of range and land from the outside. Emmett would rush in and land a couple shots on a combination. Near the end of the round Emmett landed a heavy right then left hands before shooting for the takedown. He bailed on the shot and landed an elbow as the round ended.
Round two had Kattar continue his jab-heavy attack and forcing Emmett to load up a little bit. Emmett was able to figure out the timing and began to land on Kattar himself. Kattar used his length to land the jab from too far out, but as soon as the jab would land Emmett would attack. All the way to the end of the round Emmett began to punish the body of Kattar with Calvin using his guard up high.
Round three and Kattar began to walk forward finally. Kattar continued to go with the jab, Emmett continued to land to the body. Clearly the power shot were coming from Emmett, and Kattar was landing but not causing much damage. To this point nobody had any idea who was up in this fight.
Round four and Kattar’s corner asking him to move forward and land on Emmett, but the round looked just like the third with a couple takedown attempts from Emmett sprinkled in.
Round five brought a bit more urgency from Kattar showed by spinning back fists and elbows he landed. Emmett was happy to land to the body and up high when possible. With neither corner sure what the score card was looking like it seemed that Emmett continued to show his own urgency while Kattar popped the jab out repeatedly. It really was such a close fight and it left people wondering whether the volume of Kattar or the power of Emmett would make a difference with the judges.
Official Result: Josh Emmett def. Calvin Kattar via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)