In the main event of UFC Austin, we saw a massive matchup in the featherweight division. Top seven contenders battled it out as Calvin Kattar (23-5) took on arguably the guy with the most power in the division Josh Emmett (17-2).
Entering UFC Austin, Emmett was riding four-fight winning streak that dates back to 2018. Overall, Emmett was 6-1 in his last seven fights. The last time we saw him was at UFC 269 when he defeated Dan Ige.
Calvin Kattar was obliterated by Max Holloway in January of 2021. It was a performance that could have changed Kattar’s career forever in a negative sense. He took some time away and then returned to the UFC in January.
He took on the tough test of Giga Chikadze who was trying to fight for a title shot. Kattar did to Chikadze what Holloway did to him. It was a beautifully violent performance that showed the world that ‘The Boston Finisher’ is still one of the best at 145. He was looking to show that again tonight.
The UFC Austin event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Kattar immediately takes the center as Emmett circles on the outside. Lots of feints from Kattar as Emmett tries to gauge the range in the opening minute.
Double jab falls just short for Kattar. Crowd becoming restless as Kattar lands a jab. Power jab from Emmett. Kattar is now circling on the outside and Emmett throws a power right hand.
Emmett tries to throw a big power combination but doesn’t land. Sweet 1-2 lands for Calvin Kattar. Another stiff jab lands for Kattar who is starting to open up here. Powerful low kick lands for Emmett and he tries to throw power shots behind it, but nothing lands there.
Another lengthy jab lands for Kattar. Emmett seems to be struggling a bit with the range here in the first. Another jab from Kattar and Emmett has a small cut above the eye. 1-2 from Kattar lands and he’s building some solid momentum. Emmett with some big shots near the end of the close first round. Close round but I lean Kattar at UFC Austin.
Entering the second at UFC Austin and I think we should see more action here. Kattar opens the second looking for his jab. Emmett lands a big right hand and he tries to double it up. Big power coming from Josh Emmett here in the second.
1-2 from Emmett and then he doubles up the right hand. Kattar looking for his jab, but he’s not landing much here. There’s a nice jab from Kattar and he lands a right hand behind it. Power hook to the body lands for Emmett.
Double jab from Kattar and that cut is back open on Emmett. Another double jab from Kattar who is really connecting here now. Deep breaths from Emmett who circles. Another stiff jab with a 1-2 behind it. Kattar is really opening up now.
Step-in elbow lands for Kattar. Emmett responds with a left to the body and a right hook up top. Big power shots from Emmett but nothing lands clean there. Kattar continues looking for the jab, but Emmett’s head movement is looking better here.
Big right over the top lands for Emmett. The striking numbers are very close as we are close to the end of round two. Right hand over the top for Kattar. Emmett comes forward with a big combination. Now it’s Kattar that follows up with a big knee and combination.
Emmett with a big flurry near the end of the round. Really close round and it honestly could have gone either way at UFC Austin, but I lean toward Josh Emmett.
Entering the third at UFC Austin and the scorecards could be all over the place here. Kattar opens up throwing lots of jabs. Emmett tries to back him up with a big right over the top that just misses. Big jab from Kattar and Emmett lands two big rights.
Another big right hand from Emmett backs Kattar up. More big power shots from Emmett and he’s controlling the third round with his power. Nice elbow lands for Calvin Kattar. Both men trade jabs in the center.
Jab for Kattar and a powerful low kick from Emmett. Big right hand from Emmett and Kattar lands a elbow. Beautiful uppercut from Kattar lands and then he follows it up with a jab. 1-2 lands for Kattar and it’s Kattar who is fighting with forward pressure.
However, he’s back up from a big shot from Emmett. Jab from Kattar and Emmett tries to come back with power but nothing lands. Kattar comes forward and Emmett lands a blistering combination on Kattar. Both trade jabs in the center.
Huge left to the body from Emmett and he lands a nice left up top that stiffens up Kattar. The third comes to a close at UFC Austin and I give that one to Josh Emmett.
Entering the fourth at UFC Austin and this has been a close fight, but it feels like all the momentum is with Josh Emmett. Kattar opens up with lots of jab volume but nothing really landing here.
Emmett loads up on a huge right hand that just misses the mark. Nice jab and a left hand lands for Kattar. 1-2 for Kattar and then he doubles up the jab. Lead left hook from Kattar and then he looks for a shovel hook.
Double jab from Kattar and a right hand over the top. Emmett not throwing much here in the first couple of minutes. There he throws a right but he’s way out of range. Now Emmett pushes forward and he tries for a takedown but Kattar shrugs him off.
Right over the top from Kattar. They trade jabs in the center and then Kattar lands a left. Kattar is constantly throwing that left jab out there. Big rip to the body from Emmett and then he lands a clean right over the top. Biggest shots of the round there.
Spinning elbow from Kattar lands flush but Emmett just eats it. Right hand from Kattar and Emmett got wobbled and that really opened up Emmett’s cut even more. Lots of damage under the left eye for Emmett now.
Emmett shoots for a takedown but can’t get it. Stiff jab from Kattar snaps the head back of Emmett. The round comes to a close with big heat from Emmett. Strong close for Emmett, but this is Kattar’s round. I have it tied at UFC Austin.
Entering the final round at UFC Austin and I think whoever wins this round wins the fight. Both men trade jabs immediately to start the final round. Big jab from Kattar snaps the head back of Emmett. Knee up the middle for Kattar.
Kattar throws a right and Emmett comes back with a big combination. Nice power shots land for Emmett. Big uppercut lands for Kattar and then he lands a nice long right hand. Emmett tries for a takedown and can’t get it.
Leg kick from Emmett lands. Big check left hook lands flush for Kattar. Jab lands for Kattar and now Emmett lands with his jab. Big combination from Emmett and Kattar lands a right.
Two minutes to go and this is still anyone’s fight. Emmett pushes forward and tries to land a head kick. Double jab from Kattar lands. Emmett tries to answer with big power but only connects on the arms. Nice right hook from Kattar and Emmett throws back.
Big left hook lands for Emmett. Both men trade big shots in the center. Emmett is now coming forward with major heat in the final minute. Big combination from Emmett lands. Twenty seconds left in Austin.
Both men try to land big spinning elbows but neither lands. The final bell sounds and an excellent main event comes to a close. Razor close fight that I lean towards Kattar given the round-by-round scores, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Emmett get the nod at UFC Austin.
Josh Emmett def. Calvin Kattar by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)