Boston, MA — UFC 292 in Boston this Saturday is almost as notable for who isn’t fighting on the card as who is.
Headlined by Aljamain Sterling, a New Yorker, against Sean O’Malley (fighting out of Arizona), the PPV event is missing a lot of local flavor. Joe Lauzon, one of the longest-serving fighters on the UFC roster, was reportedly told his services were not required. New England Cartel members Calvin Kattar and Rob Font are absent as well — something the pair addressed this week.
For Kattar, it boils down to injury, though he had tried to convince himself there was a feint hope he could fight at the TD Garden.
“I was trying to trick myself into thinking there was a chance, just to kind of jump start things for myself, because eventually I’ll be getting back sooner than later,” Kattar told media outlets including Cageside Press this week. “So just holding onto the idea that maybe there was a chance I would be on the card, and that’s kind of kept me motivated, along with getting ready with Rob for his fight.”
“Wheels are moving on my end, just a little too soon for me,” Kattar added.
Font had to make the decision to pull out of UFC 292 to step up against Cory Sandhagen at UFC Nashville just weeks ago, which meant dropping off the Boston card. Font had originally been booked opposite Song Yadong. The choice to switch events was not an easy one, despite Yadong forced out of the bout.
“In a perfect world, I would have made the fight happen here, but they needed a main event, so we couldn’t,” noted Font. “Then coming off a loss it’s even worse, it’s kind of like I lost my fight in the Garden, then went out there and lost. I feel like I want to go to the gym right now instead of being here.”
That said, Font added it was cool to be just around fight week. As for his fight against Sandhagen, “it was like I forgot how to wrestle. It was annoying. It was one of those— I don’t want to say, I was expecting to strike a little more, obviously it didn’t go that way. hat’s off to him, he played it smart. It’s just one of those things, I’ve just got to get the room, get back to wrestling.”
For Kattar, meanwhile, getting back in the cage later this year, “It’s definitely a possibility. I’m feeling great. I’d say I’m able to train fully at this point, so just trying to train smart, ease back in, just be ready for something hopefully by the end of the year. I feel like that’s a possibility for sure.”
Watch the full UFC 292 fight week appearance by Calvin Kattar and Rob Font above.