Six fights into his UFC career, Kattar continues to look like a real, menacing problem in the talent-rich featherweight division, and he’s done so by taking on the toughest opponents available, from his promotional debut against Andre Fili to Ricardo Lamas in Lamas’ backyard.
Most recently, a chance to prove whether he could compete with the elite in the division came across the table in the form of Zabit Magomedsharipov. Circumstances were ideal, too. The fight was to take place in Kattar’s backyard, but an injury forced Magomedsharipov to pull out of the event, and the bout was rescheduled the following month in, of all places, Russia – Magomedsharipov’s home country.
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Originally scheduled as the co-main event, the bout was upgraded to a three-round main event, and suddenly, Kattar found himself with a lot to win and very little to lose. However, Magomedsharipov poured it on early as the Russian’s length and unique attack took Kattar a bit of time to read. In the third round, though, Kattar pressed forward, finding his rhythm and plenty of success. It was too little, too late, but there was a creeping sense that Kattar might’ve found his way to the winner’s circle if he had a couple more rounds with which to work.
“As far as the moment, it wasn’t too big for me,” Kattar said. “I want to earn more big moment opportunities, but I know I gotta go out there and capitalize and deliver on those opportunities so I get them again.”
Although his matchup with Jeremy Stephens isn’t a main event, it is another chance to fight a high-quality roster mainstay and a veteran Kattar described as someone he knows will “show up to the dance.”