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Two of the featherweight division’s most entertaining contenders face off in a cracking main event from the Lone Star State as the world’s leading MMA promotion heads to Texas for UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett.
Two veterans of the lightweight division face off in an eagerly-anticipated co-main event with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Joe Lauzon finally set to touch gloves at the Moody Center.
Plus the ‘Trailblazer’ Kevin Holland returns looking to back up his bonus-winning knockout of Alex Oliveira in March.
With all that plus loads more coming your way ahead of a six-fight main card and a stacked slate of prelims, here are three reasons you don’t want to miss UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett on BT Sport this Saturday night.
Is the 145lb division the most talent-rich in the UFC? Possibly.
It’s certainly one of the most entertaining - and on Saturday night, two men who stand out as particularly engaging even among such company face one another in a scintillating main event as Calvin Kattar takes on Josh Emmett.
Kattar, 23-5 (11 KOs), has forged a reputation as one of the most game contenders in the featherweight landscape having shared the Octagon with a killer’s row of foes since joining the promotion in 2017.
The 34-year-old is 3-2 in his last five fights and the Fight of the Night bonus has gone home with the Massachusetts man on three of those occasions too; whether in victory or defeat, Kattar has become appointment viewing over the past few years.
I’m always prepared for a banger
- Calvin Kattar
Coming into this bout off the back of a one-sided five-round win against striking sensation Giga Chikadze, Kattar will be full of confidence and hoping to secure another victory that would position him perfectly for the winner of next month’s trilogy showdown between champion Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway.
“I’m always prepared for the banger,” Kattar told reporters at Wednesday’s media day.
“I think it’s what you gotta do for a fight at this calibre is be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.
“It could go one of two ways: either one of us gets it done early and make it look easy, or it’s gonna be a five-round banger.”
The number four ranked star will be putting his place in the featherweight ladder on the line when he takes on number seven ranked Emmett at the Moody Center.
I prepare so hard for every single fight
- Josh Emmett
Emmett, 17-2 (6 KOs), is a man in form having won four straight since dropping to defeat on his main event debut against Jeremy Stephens back in 2018.
The 37-year-old is a much-improved athlete to the man who lost to Stephens and having pieced together a decent run of wins in recent times, the Arizona may feel he’s only one or two wins short of calling for a shot at UFC gold.
Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday night’s showdown, the Team Alpha Male man promised another war when he makes his 11th UFC walk.
He said: “I feel like every single fight I’ve been in everyone is like ‘this one’s a banger!’ and ‘this one’s fireworks!’ and it will. But at the end of the day, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It could be the toughest fight of my life or it could be the easiest and that’s the same with every fight.
“I prepare so hard for every single fight, I give all my opponents the utmost respect. I know how good they are and as you climb the rankings, they’re even better. I’m prepared.
“Every fight there’s violence. He’s going to be trying to take my head off, I’m going to be doing the same thing with every strike I throw, I’m trying to finish the fight.”
Cowboy's last ride (again)?
If he didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all in recent times – but Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone will hope to put a miserable few years behind him when he finally takes on Joe Lauzon in the co-main event this weekend.
The lightweight showdown had been set to feature at UFC 274 last month only to be pulled at the last minute when illness cruelly prevented Cerrone from performing at the 11th hour.
Thankfully back fighting fit, the 39-year-old Cerrone will make his 55th walk to the cage as a professional fighter when he strides to the Octagon on Saturday night.
The Denver-born striker will be sure to receive one of the warmest receptions of the evening as he looks to end a six-fight winless skid in front of a capacity crowd at the newly-opened venue in the heart of Austin.
You have to travel back to May 2019 to recall Cerrone’s last victory as two-time former WEC title challenger defeated Al Iaquinta in a Fight of the Night affair.
Those days look increasingly beyond the ageing legend with every passing fight – but fight fans will hope Cerrone can conjure one more special performance to give himself the perfect ride off into the sunset during the twilight of his storied career.
If and when he does decide to call it a day, there’s no question Cerrone will join the list of greats inside the UFC Hall of Fame.
No fighter has more UFC wins in company history (23), no fighter has scored more knockdowns (20) and no fighter has more fight night bonuses (18) than Cerrone.
Fellow veteran Joe Lauzon will be the man to meet Cerrone in the middle of the Octagon in what looks to be a perfect piece of matchmaking with Lauzon also approaching the tail end of a commendable UFC career.
Inactive for the last two-and-a-half years, Lauzon will look to pick up where he left off in victory over Jonathan Pearce in October 2019 knowing victory would see him move just one win behind Cerrone in the all-time UFC lightweight wins list.
Will Cowboy sign off his legendary career with a dream victory - or can Lauzon turn back time and spoil Cerrone's party?
Big Mouth is back
One of the UFC’s most charismatic characters returns to action as Kevin Holland takes on wily veteran Tim Means in an intriguing battle in the welterweight division.
It was not too long ago that Holland looked on his way to becoming the hottest property in the UFC having tied the promotional record for the most wins in a calendar year throughout 2020 with five.
But from the highest of highs, ‘Big Mouth’ found himself humbled over a subsequent three-wight winless skid that saw some major weaknesses exposed in his ground game.
Unable to cope with the wrestling-heavy offence from both Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori, Holland has since been working tirelessly on that facet of his game.
Speaking at the UFC’s Media Day this week, Holland said: “I’ve been working on wrestling for over a year now and I believe that if I work on anything for a year, it’s gonna be a f****** problem!
The 29-year-old got himself back on the win column last time out with a bonus-winning stoppage victory against veteran Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira – and Holland faces another experienced operator on Saturday night in 38-year-old Means.
Means, nicknamed ‘The Dirty Bird’, may well be one of the senior statesmen on the card this weekend but the Oklahoma man looks far from done having won three straight heading into Saturday’s showdown.
All three of those wins went to the scorecards – but Means is one knockout shy of 20 over the course of his pro MMA career.
Can he reach that milestone against the surging Holland?
Click here to find out all the ways to watch UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett on BT Sport, exclusively live this Saturday night from 10pm.