In his first non-title fight in almost five years, Max Holloway will face Calvin Kattar in the main event of UFC Fight Island 7 on January 16th.
Holloway lost his featherweight title to Alex Volkanovski at UFC 245 via unanimous decision. He was given an immediate rematch at UFC 251, but came up short again, as the Australian won via razor close split decision.
Although there’s no title on the line at UFC Fight Island 7, the Kattar fight is a must win for Holloway. It is also a massive opportunity for the Bostonian to make a strong case for a title shot.
Nothing Has Changed
From the preparation point of view, not much has changed for Holloway, as his next fight is a five round main event, and he’s putting in the same amount of work he’d put in for a title fight, he told Yahoo! Sports (as transcribed by MMA Junkie).
“At the end of the day, we’re fighting five rounds,” Holloway said. “There’s no less work. I’ve got to do the same amount of work, the same amount I’ve been doing for a title fight – the same rules, the same everything.”
Not Overlooking Kattar
In a interview with MMA Fighting last month, Kattar warned Holloway that overlooking him “would be a big mistake”, but the Waianae native fully respects ‘The Boston Finisher’s’ skillset, and is looking forward to sharing the Octagon with him.
“Calvin is a dangerous dude, and we know he is dangerous because he will be standing across from me, and I’m excited for it,” Holloway shared. “He’s from Boston. People like to talk about his boxing and people like to talk about my boxing, so the fun thing is … Calvin was saying something like I’m overlooking him, this and that. I can’t. How can I overlook you? He made it here. I’ve got to respect that. At the end of the day, I just can’t wait to fight him. I can’t wait to go in there and see what he has to offer.”
Working His Way Back Up
Holloway’s most recent loss to Volkanovski at UFC 251 stirred quite a lot of controversy, as many fans and critics alike scored the fight in his favour. The former champion however has no regrets, and is looking to add some wins to his resume before challenging for the title again.
“There’s no talk. There’s no regrets. We did what we did,” Holloway said. “The past is called ‘the past’ for a reason. You move on. You get on with the day, and I’m going to do hard work. This ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve told a lot of people, ‘If I’ve got to go out and get another ten-win streak, that’s what I’ve got to do.”
Who do you think wins the UFC Fight Island 7 main event between Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar?