UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar Preview

UFC packs up it’s bags and jets off to Fight Island to kick off their 2021 schedule with a whopping three shows in a week. A four week hiatus left fans longing for some octagon action and the wait is over, first up is a solid card, with Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar competing in the main event at 145 pounds.

Max Holloway (21-6) is coming off the back of two losses to current champion Alex Volkanovski, the second loss being quite controversial, many fans and pundits had the Hawaiian winning the rematch. The result is in the history books nonetheless and Holloway will be looking to get back to winning ways against Calvin Katter.

Katter (22-4) will enter this fight on a two fight win streak having notched up wins over Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige in his two bouts last year. The Massachusetts native will relish the chance to compete against elite level competition at the top of the featherweight division. His last big test, so to speak, came against Zabit Magomedsharipov, where Katter dropped a unanimous decision to the Russian.

Holloway will be keen to silence the doubters who say his time at the top is coming to an end. His recent record stands at 2-3 in his last five fights, those wins and losses were against upper echelon fighters, so it doesn’t look quite as bad for the former champion, as it looks on paper.

This will be a great fight for Katter to see if he has what it takes to beat an elite level guy. We know that he can compete against top guys, but competing and winning are so very different in the fight game. Overall this is a fantastic matchup, I’m looking forward to seeing how both guys will utilise their gameplans and look forward to seeing how both fighters unique styles shape up. A very worthy main event to kick us off in 2021.

The co-main event is a clash of two veterans. Carlos Condit (31-13) looks to build off his impressive win over Court McKee after his return from retirement. “The Natural Born Killer” will face off against TUF veteran Matt Brown, Brown (22-17) was left disappointed in his last fight after suffering a second round knockout to Miguel Baeza.

Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-3) makes his first UFC appearance since 2018, a bacterial infection in his blood and bones halted the Argentinian’s career when he was enjoying a 7 fight win streak. Squaring off against Ponzinibbio is Chinese KO artist Jingliang Li (17-6), who is looking to get back to winning ways after his loss to Neil Magny. The fight will be contested in the welterweight division.

2020 Knockout of the Year winner Joaquin Buckley (12-3) will seek to make it three finishes in a row when he faces off against Alessio Di Chirico. The Italian is on a three fight losing skid, and Di Chirico (12-5) will have it all to do if he is to get his hand raised in this fight in the middleweight division.

Also in the middleweight division, someone’s O has got to go when Punahele Soriano (7-0) goes to battle with Duško Todorović (10-0), who fights out of Serbia. Phil Hawes (9-2) returns after his :18 second knockout of Jacob Malkoun, Hawes will take on Frenchman Nassourdine (9-2) Imavov who is 1-0 so far in his UFC career.

Joselyne Edwards (9-2) will become only the second Panama born fighter to fight inside the octagon. Edwards takes on Chinese based flyweight Yanan Wu (11-3), who fights for the first time since her 2019 loss to Mizuki Inoue. Justin Tafa (4-1) and Carlos Felipe (9-1) will throw down in what will likely be a heavyweight slugfest.

In the 170-pound division, David Zawada (17-5) will step in to fight Russian based fighter Ramazan Emeev (19-4). It could be last chance salon in the women’s bantamweight division when Sarah Moras (6-6) and Vanessa Melo (10-8) square off. Melo has lost three on the bounce and Canadian based fighter Moras is 1-4 in her last five bouts. Opening up proceedings on the card is a featherweight showdown between Austin Lingo (7-1) and Jacob Kilburn (8-3).

Check out the official fight card below. The card goes down on Saturday January 16th.

Main Card (BT Sports 3, 8pm)

Featherweight: Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar


Welterweight: Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown


Welterweight: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Li Jingliang


Middleweight: Joaquin Buckley vs. Alessio Di Chirico


Middleweight: Punahele Soriano vs. Duško Todorović

Preliminary Card (Fight Pass/ BT Sports Extra 2, 5pm)

Middleweight: Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov


Women’s Bantamweight: Wu Yanan vs. Joselyne Edwards


Heavyweight: Carlos Felipe vs. Justin Tafa


Welterweight: David Zawada vs. Ramazan Emeev


Women’s Bantamweight: Sarah Moras vs. Vanessa Melo


Featherweight: Jacob Kilburn vs. Austin Lingo

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.