UFC Fight Night predictions -- Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream
Here is everything you need to watch for the pivotal featherweight clash between Kattar and Emmett in Austin, Texas
Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett will find themselves on the shortlist of UFC featherweight title challengers with a victory at UFC Fight Night in Austin, Texas. Kattar vs. Emmett marks only the third UFC Fight Night in front of a full-capacity crowd in 2022.
🔴ʟɪᴠᴇ🔴🏆░▒▓█► ᴜꜰᴄ ꜰɪɢʜᴛ ɴɪɢʜᴛ: ᴄᴀʟᴠɪɴ ᴋᴀᴛᴛᴀʀ ᴠꜱ ᴊᴏꜱʜ ᴇᴍᴍᴇᴛᴛ
🔴ɢᴏ ʟɪᴠᴇ🔴🏆░▒▓█► ᴜꜰᴄ ꜰɪɢʜᴛ ɴɪɢʜᴛ: ᴄᴀʟᴠɪɴ ᴋᴀᴛᴛᴀʀ ᴠꜱ ᴊᴏꜱʜ ᴇᴍᴍᴇᴛᴛ
Many doubted if Kattar was done for after absorbing a historic number of strikes from Max Holloway in 2021. Kattar (23-5) returned one year later and unleashed pent-up aggression on Giga Chikadze over 25 minutes. Kattar's dominance against the renowned kickboxer immediately renewed him as a contender worth watching in the featherweight division. A win over Emmett positions Kattar alongside the winner of Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez as next in line for a UFC title shot, barring a fourth installment in the seemingly infinite rivalry between champion Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway.
"I don't shy away from a challenge like that, as you see, look at the list of guys I've competed against," Kattar told reporters at Wednesday's media day. "We haven't turned down a fight yet, and that's not really something that when I got to UFC that I planned on doing. You come to the UFC to fight the best guys in the world and earn your opportunities, and I think we've both done a good job of earning this main event Saturday night. May the best man win."
Emmett (17-2) has arguably had one of the slowest burning rises in any UFC weight class. A powerful wrestler with dynamite in his fists, Emmett finds himself closer to a world title than ever before. Emmett, 37, enters UFC Fight Night on a four-fight winning streak over Dan Ige, Shane Burgos, Mirsad Bektic and Michael Johnson. Emmett won the Burgos fight despite tearing his ACL during the contest. Those sorts of injuries have unfortunately delayed Emmett's upwards trajectory. He required intensive emergency facial surgery after a controversial knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens in 2018. Emmett also pulled out of a number of proposed matchups due to injuries while training.
"I literally just trust the process," Emmet told CBS Sports about his long road up the division. "There are times when I would get frustrated because I'd want something and I wasn't getting the fights I wanted. At the end of the day, everything has led me to something bigger and better. That's why I just sit back and live in the present and know deep down that everything is going to work out for the best. This is what I want. The path has definitely been difficult for me. I've had a hard road dealing with previous injuries and tough opponents but I wouldn't have it any other way. It helped build me and who I am. That and so many more things have molded me into who I am. I wouldn't change anything because when I do get to the top, it'll be that much easier to sustain and I'll be there for a while."
The undercard fills out with some fun fights featuring combatants fans have come to love. Lightweight veterans Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Joe Lauzon are set to scrap it out in the co-main event. The pair of vets have written the record books within the promotion as Cerrone looks to extend his record for appearances in the Octagon on Saturday. Plus, Kevin Holland and veteran Tim Means are set to throw down in the welterweight division. And viral knockout sensation Joaquin Buckley is back in a middleweight contest against Albert Duraev.
Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett: Kattar has sublime MMA boxing and when he wins it is not particularly close. Mix in his elbows and Kattar can crack you at many different angles. That might be why oddsmakers have him as a greater than two-to-one favorite against the heavy-handed Emmett. Kattar also has a proven five-round gas tank and can endure hellacious abuse. In a division without Holloway, Kattar would be even closer to a world title than he already is. The irregularity with which Emmett competes keeps him as an afterthought at featherweight. Emmett exudes power in every aspect of his game. His offensive wrestling is forceful and knockout power mighty. His explosiveness carries late as evidenced by a knockout of Michael Johnson at 4:14 of Round 3. Emmett's most remarkable trait may just be his toughness. He bounced back from terrible facial injuries suffered in a loss to Stephens and defeated Burgos on one good leg. Emmett scores 1.38 knockdowns per 15 minutes, the ninth most of any UFC fighter. Six of the fighters above him compete at light heavyweight or heavyweight (at least 60-pounds up). He is in good company with lighter fighters: Conor McGregor and Sean O'Malley. There are two primary outcomes to this fight. First, Kattar picks away at Emmett over five rounds but loses a round or two as a consequence of Emmett's power. The other is that Emmett grinds out a wrestling-heavy decision. A knockout win for either fighter is always on the table, but Kattar has never been knocked out and Emmett's one KO loss involved seemingly illegal shots.
UPDATES TO UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KATTAR VS EMMETT
Due to a non-weight related medical issue, Joe Lauzon has been removed from his lightweight bout with Donald Cerrone. As a result, this bout has been cancelled from today’s card.
Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon cancelled again after ‘freakiest, weirdest thing ever’
Maybe this fight isn’t meant to happen.
Lauzon was not at the UFC Austin ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday due to what the UFC termed as “cramps,” but the fight was still on at the time. He’s since revealed on his Instagram vlog that his left knee had locked up while trying to put on his socks after the official weigh-ins, calling it “the freakiest, weirdest thing ever.” He said he “couldn’t stand, couldn’t walk at all,” and couldn’t put any weight on it. All attempts to work on that knee were unsuccessful, so inevitably that meant he could not make it to fight night.
Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett full fight preview | UFC Austin
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight sluggers Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett will go to war TONIGHT (Sat., June 18, 2022) at UFC Austin inside Texas’ Moody Center.
Currently ranked inside the Featherweight Top 5, Kattar rebounded from his infamous loss to Max Holloway in a major way last time out, pulverizing Giga Chikadze to hand the kickboxer his first UFC loss. He’s back in the hunt, looking to begin a new win streak and move closer to the 145-pound belt. Emmett’s been similarly focused on the Featherweight title for quite some time. He’s dealt with adversity with injuries and subsequent time off, but Emmett enters his first main event slot on a four-fight win streak and looks to earn a title shot.
FEATHERWEIGHT FIREWORKS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Austin, Texas, for the first time since 2018 to hold its first event in the brand-new Moody Center on Sat., June 18, 2022. Headlining the event will be a Featherweight match up sure to deliver fireworks as No. 4-ranked contender, Calvin Kattar, takes on No. 7-seeded Josh Emmett. In UFC Austin’s co-main event, Cowboy Cerrone finally locks horns with fellow veteran, Joe Lauzon, while respected veteran, Tim Means, battles fan favorite Kevin Holland, one fight prior.
UFC Austin headliners Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett — No. 7 and No. 8 at featherweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — might not be next in line for a UFC title shot, but both could take a significant step towards that goal with statement win on Saturday.
Kattar has already proven he’s made of sterner stuff by bouncing back from a devastating loss at the hands of Max Holloway to drub Giga Chikadze this past January, and Emmett is on a four-fight win streak with some impressive knockout wins on his resume.
Unfortunately for Kattar, his recent loss to Holloway might preclude him from advancing much higher in the division until he proves he can get past one of the big featherweight four — Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski, Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez — while Emmett has yet to have his shot at anyone in that quartet and could be looked at as a fresh challenger depending on how a pair of upcoming matchups involving the aforementioned four play out. The matchmakers likely booked this one wanting a fun banger, but it could also give them another championship option to consider in the future.
In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon meet in a matchup featuring UFC lightweight legends who will have a combined 66 octagon appearances between them by the end of the night (38 for Cerrone, 28 for Lauzon). This was scheduled to take place at UFC 274 this past May before a mystery illness forced Cerrone to withdraw on fight day and now these fan favorites get a second chance to add to their eye-popping legacies.
It’s a good thing too because even with Cerrone vowing to compete until he hits 50 combined UFC/WEC appearances, you get the sense that one bad night could convince him to hang it up earlier than expected. As for Lauzon, he’s essentially had one foot out the door for the past few years and whenever he feels comfortable hanging up the gloves, he’ll do it with no regrets. Cherish these moments while we have them, is what I’m saying.
In other main card action, Tim Means provides a tough test for Kevin Holland as he navigates welterweight waters, Joaquin Buckley fights Albert Duraev in a middleweight bout, Damir Ismagulov and Guram Kutateladze meet in a duel of fast-rising lightweights, and middleweights Julian Marquez and Gregory Rodrigues look to kick off the show with what promises to be a chaotic contest.
The jab is certainly Kattar’s biggest weapon here, but it’s also a risk. Kattar has to use that weapon to establish his distance and start lining up the right hand, but Emmett will surely be looking to come over the top with the right. To ensure he’s on the giving end of that exchange, Kattar has to actively feint and switch up the timing on his lead hand.
Kattar is the taller and rangier man. He’d be wise to try to take advantage of this distance, to touch Emmett with a long strike, pull away and answer when Emmett attempts to return fire. In addition, Kattar could mix front kicks up the middle, a strategy he employed well versus Burgos.
In general, flicking up high kicks is a good idea. Emmett moves his feet and head well, and that rhythm is essential to how he lands power shots. If kicks are interrupting his flow, he’s likely to eat more shots as a result.
Keys to Victory: Emmett hits absurdly hard. He’s a deceptively slick and well-conditioned boxer, but the bottom line is that Emmett wins fights because he consistently knocks opponents senseless. At 145 pounds, Emmett has knocked down each and every one of his seven opponents at least once.
Perhaps the single biggest strategic key here for Josh Emmett is to avoid chasing the right hand knockout. Of course, that’s still the eventual goal, but Emmett fights far more effectively when he’s mixing up his strikes.
At his best, Emmett is changing rhythms, targeting the body, and even chopping the leg occasional with kicks. When he’s shifting directions and stances, he becomes very hard to track down. Suddenly, Emmett is walking his opponent into hard counters or catching his opponent off-guard by suddenly bursting forward with combinations.