Arnold Allen vs Calvin Kattar:
Arnold Allen (19-1) extended his UFC winning streak to 9 and is still undefeated within the promotion. An unfortunate injury to Calvin Kattar’s knee led to the referee stopping the fight 8 seconds into round number two. This was an unfortunate ending to the five round main event, as the fight was highly competitive for as long as it lasted.
In the first two minutes of round one each fighter was gauging distance and trying to figure their opponent out on the feet. Kattar (23-7) was landing effective jabs at range showcasing his elite MMA boxing skills. Allen had a different approach for this fight punishing Kattar with effective leg kicks early. This may have played a factor in Kattar blowing his knee out a minute and thirty seconds later. As Kattar stepped backwards in the last minute of round one his knee twisted awkwardly as he tried to put weight on it. Arnold Allen immediately swarmed on the injured Kattar, but he was able to survive until the round ended.
In Kattar’s corner, his coaches were giving him words of encouragement and tactical advice. I did not appear that his corner knew the significance of Kattar’s injury and he showed tremendous heart answering the bell for round two. Unfortunately for the UFC veteran and Boston native he only lasted 8 seconds into the next round as his knee was completely compromised. The Referee had no choice but to call an end to the contest as Kattar collapsed in pain after trying to put weight on his right leg.
What’s Next ?
For the 28-year-old Allen, this was the biggest win of his young and promising career, as he defeated a seasoned veteran in Kattar. Allen’s victory should garner the attention of featherweight champion Alexsander Volkanovski, who is the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. Volkanovski will be moving up in weight for his next fight with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makachev.
This opens up a possible opportunity for Allen to fight for an interim title. Possible upcoming opponents for Allen could include former champion Max Holloway and title contender Brian Ortega. For Kattar, this loss was a monumental disappointment that will lead to a lengthy layoff. After his impressive win over Giga Chikadze, Kattar has now dropped two fights in a row in the featherweight division.
The UFC prelims on Saturday were highly entertaining with a number of matches ending by finish. Middleweight Phil Hawes (12-4) took on Georgian powerhouse Roman Dolidze (11-1) in an intriguing matchup between up-and-coming prospects. Hawes was competing well in this fight before injuring his leg in round one. While showing tremendous heart fighting on one leg Hawes was knocked out cold by the promising Dolidze. Another fight that had fans excited early was the return of former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. He took on Brazilian knockout artist Marcos Rogério de Lima. Lima is known for having heavy hands, but Arlovski was riding a four-fight win streak into this matchup. Ultimately it was de Lima who controlled this matchup, submitting the former heavyweight champion in the first round. Next for the UFC is a fight night this coming Saturday from the Apex in Las Vegas, with the main event featuring Lemos vs Rodriguez.
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