UFC featherweight champion Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski defended his division title just two months ago in April and is already scheduled for another one next month against top challenger Max Holloway. The next time that Volkanovski steps into the Octagon, the current fourth-ranked fighter, Calvin Kattar, hopes that his name is on the bill too.
To make that happen, he first needs to fend off No.7 Josh Emmett, who aims to make a title push himself. The two featherweights will clash this Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Austin, Texas at the Moody Center to see who will rise in the rankings toward their goal, and who will fall.
Saturday’s card is not a pay-per-view event, and the card reflects that. Only Kattar and Emmett in the main event are ranked in the top 15 of any division. Supporting the headline fight is UFC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone who is making his first of two final fights before he retires with 50 professional bouts. In the 49th fight of his career, Cerrone, 39, faces Joe Lauzon who is making his first fight since knocking out Jonathan “JSP” Pearce in October 2019 at UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs Weidman.
**UPDATE – Lauzon pulled out just before the start of UFC Fight Night with an injury.
Main Event Preview
Since turning professional in MMA, Kattar (23-5-0) has been a lethal force, recording 10 first-round finishes in 28 career fights. That hasn’t happened for him since 2019, however, though he did force a second-round early stoppage at UFC 249 in 2020 against Jeremy Stephens. That victory helped him climb higher in the rankings, ultimately pitting him against Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night last year.
Kattar went five rounds with the former champ, but Holloway was clearly in control of the fight, out-striking Kattar significantly on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Headlining another Fight Night this January, Kattar was the one to pick up the unanimous decision victory after five rounds against #8 Giga Chikadze, promoting him from #5 in the division to #4.
In Emmett, Kattar is facing a freestyle fighter who can finish his opponent in a variety of ways. He has earned the decision in the last two fights of his four-fight winning streak that stretches back to 2019. The pace of his schedule has decreased significantly since his early years in the UFC and at 37 years old, one has to think that would help him in making a title push. For both he and Kattar, the pursuit of champion gold continues this weekend in the Lonestar State.
UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett Fight Card & Odds