Calvin Kattar: Pay Attention Alexa
Calvin Kattar jokes that neither ‘Alexa from Google’ or ‘the rest of the top 15’ know who he is, but a victory against Renato Moicano on April 7th should be enough to finally make everyone stand up and take notice.
The 29 year old came out victorious in a ‘Fight of the Night’ against Shane Burgos on January 20th when he was given a platform to shine as the second to last bout on one of the biggest cards of 2018. Hailing the night as a ‘Dream come true’, Kattar was able to come out on top in what he called a ‘battle of the prospects’ in his home city of Boston. When being reminded that technically 50% of his fights in the UFC have been awarded ‘Fight of the Night’ he laughed, adding ‘that’s a beautiful stat right there’. Looking to April 7th, he said he’d prefer ‘Knockout of the Night’ to save taking the damage himself, but you’d imagine he won’t be too fussy as long as that $50,000 bonus is on it’s way to his account at the end of the night.
This will be a fairly short turnaround, but the opportunity was too good for Calvin to resist; recalling the moment that he was offered the fight, he said ‘me and my manager were actually having some lunch at a nice steakhouse and we got the text to find out that was my last nice big meal’. In terms of opponent, Kattar feels that this opponent makes perfect sense for this stage of his career – ‘I think it’s a good opportunity for me, it’s a good opportunity for him as far as trying to bounce back and with us being ranked 11 and 12 in the recent rankings it seems like the right fight to make for the both of us’ he said.
The only loss of Moicano’s 13 fight career is to now number one contender Brian Ortega, a fight in which he was minutes away from winning, before shooting for an ill advised takedown (hindsight is a wonderful thing). ‘He’s definitely kicking himself in the ass for that one, that’s just a mental error’ Kattar said, when looking back on Moicano’s loss; Looking at the rest of the bout, Calvin reflected ‘Other than that he fought well in that fight, he was able to fight completely different and stick to a gameplan, so I’m assuming he’ll come with a good gameplan here and I plan on implementing my fight and just adjusting as the fight goes’. One thing he is certain of, is that it’s going to be a fun fight to watch, as it is every time he steps into the cage – ‘I like to stand up and bring a fight every time and it’s no secret that’s what the UFC fans like to see’.
Kattar is certainly in no rush to get to the title and he’s insistent that he wants to earn his shot; he’s in no way looking past Moicano but when plotting his future route, he explained ‘I wanna earn my rankings, I wanna beat a ranked guy so it’ll propel me to where I see myself going from there and that’s chewing on these top 10s. I love having a number ahead of my name, and the smaller it gets, the happier I’ll be’.
After an eleven year career, the Boston man looked back at where it all began, he recalled ‘My sisters best friend had taken an MMA fight, I’d wrestled out of high school and I’d taken six months off between high school and college as I really hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do, I was a little lost and then I saw his fight. I’d missed the feeling of competing and I told him that after his fight, I was gonna come and train with him that Monday morning. Unlike most of the guys that tell me that to this day, I actually showed up, started training and I took my first fight six months later and i’ve just been chasing that adrenaline rush ever since’.
A career as a professional fighter certainly isn’t an easy one and to make it in the sport, you really need to have motivation not only to trade blows, but to get up and grind each and every day; ‘Life isn’t always easy, I always found that struggles outside of the gym have always pushed me into it as a release of that stress and fighting has always bought me opportunities, so I’ve just followed that and I never thought I’d become a professional fighter when I first started. Here we are now, we’re getting a taste of this money, I’m putting a second gear in and it definitely helps that you might be able to provide better opportunities for your family and those around you. I’m going all in at this point and I’m ready for anything and anyone’ Kattar said, as he reflected on his own reasoning.
Make sure you tune in on April 7th, as Calvin Kattar will be looking to make a statement in Brooklyn, and maybe Alexa will finally start paying attention.