The first UFC headliner in 2021 is between the former featherweight champion Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar. Some call this event UFC on ABC 1, some say UFC Fight Island 7, and others UFC Fight Night. Suit it yourself, we are interested only in fighting, nothing else. That is why WagerBop.com has a preview of this matchup, along with odds and prediction. Stay with us for some three minutes, and find out the most interesting stuff surrounding this bout.
Holloway (-165) is in a tough situation. He has two losses in a row, both against Alexander Volkanovski, the man who would strip him of the UFC featherweight title, and after that confirmed the upset from the initial match. That second match was controversial, and Volkanovski won it following a pretty strange split decision with most of the big names from the MMA world suggesting that the judges made a massive error (or deliberate).
The Blessed (21-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC) was one of the most dominant fighters in the featherweight division until losing the crown to Volkanovski, winning 13 bouts in a row. He even made it to the lightweight interim title match vs. Dustin Poirier but lost that one.
Holloway’s CV is impressive. Max has wins over Frankie Edgar, the latest one, Brian Ortega, Jose Aldo twice, Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, and many more. He is the fighter with the best striking technique in the UFC for some pundits, and with the finest punching combos.
Kattar (+145) isn’t anywhere near Holloway, but he is on the rise in the last few months. The 32-year old showed significant improvement after losing against
Zabit Magomedsharipo some 14 months ago in Moscow. After that, Kattar (22-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
restored his confidence with a KO win against Jeremy Stephens and a unanimous decision triumph vs. Dan Ige this last July.
An interesting situation for this fella is that he always makes a leap in quality following losses. His training partners suggest that Kattar has a virtue of learning from his defeats, perfecting those areas that were his weak spots. Following a decision loss to Renato Moicano, he beat Chris Fishgold and Ricardo Lamas, both via first-round TKOs.
His jabs are close to perfect, and there aren’t many guys in the organization with more accuracy once throwing that punch. Besides that, Kattar feints very well, superbly covering up his next move , which only increases the productivity of his attacks.
We are going with Holloway to win this match, and if you want some more profitable pick, try with Holloway’s stoppage win after round 3. This is logical, because Kattar had just one opportunity to step into the championship-round area, which was against Ige. Meanwhile, for Holloway, that is something usual. Plus, he fought some of the biggest names in the organization in such situations.
In our opinion, Holloway is much better than Kattar, with all due respect to him and his achievements. The Blessed is a more versatile fighter who likes to compete with boxing-oriented rivals, and from what we witnessed before, Kattar’s knowledge shouldn’t present a big problem for him.
Just one more thing to add. Holloway’s future is at stake here. A defeat vs. Kattar would definitely erase all the amazing things he did in the past, and that is an additional fuel for the Blessed coming into Saturday’s spectacle.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.