By: Frank Hyden, Senior Columnist
The UFC ran their first event on ABC the other day and it featured some really exciting fights. Let’s get to the rundown.
UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar
GOOD- Punahele Soriano stops Dusko Todorovic
Both guys landed a lot of strikes during this fight. Todorovic got dropped and hurt but managed to survive, only to get crushed again and finished towards the end of the first round. Good win for Soriano.
GOOD- Alessio Di Chirico stops Joaquin Buckley
Buckley kept coming forward while Di Chirico kept picking at him until he blasted Buckley with a head kick to stop the fight a little over two minutes into the first round. Good win for Di Chirico.
GOOD- Li Jingliang stops Santiago Ponzinibbio
They traded a lot of kicks early. They kept landing kicks until Ponzinibbio charged in and got plastered with a left hook that ended the fight not quite four and a half minutes into the first round. Good win for Li.
GOOD- Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown
Brown got a takedown in the first round and stayed on top for the remainder of the round. Condit worked hard off of his back but Brown controlled things so I thought he took that round. The second round saw Condit land a lot of kicks and some good combinations. Brown tried for another takedown a few times but couldn’t get it. In fact, Condit got a trip takedown and he rode out the rest of the round on top, doing some damage. Lots of grappling in the third round as they went back and forth. Condit did a little more and got the nod from the judges. All three judges gave every round to Condit. I don’t necessarily agree with that but I do agree with the overall decision. Good win for Condit.
GOOD- Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
Holloway threw a lot of combinations early. Kattar was landing some good shots of his own, but Holloway was getting the better of the exchanges in the first round. The second round saw Holloway turn it up, he was landing more and more strikes. He kept landing leg kicks and body shots, as well as strikes to the head. Holloway landed a devastating elbow but Kattar survived. Another big elbow but Kattar survived the second round somehow. Great toughness shown by Kattar. The third round opened with them trading more, though again Holloway was getting the better of it. He kept turning it up and doing damage. Round four was more of the same, as Holloway opened up attacking the head but then turned to the body and kept crunching Kattar over and over. Kattar kept firing back and it’s crazy that he’s still fighting as well as he is, because he’s been beat the hell up. Holloway just keeps tearing into him with body shots, head shots, etc. Again, it’s wild that Kattar is still coming forward.
The fifth round saw Holloway keep it up, just destroying Kattar with just about any type of strike you can think of. He even started trash-talking him and practically started his post-fight interview, talking to the commentary team. The toughness from Kattar was unbelievable but his corner really should have thought about throwing the towel in. You could tell that Holloway was going to win the fight in the later rounds and you would have saved Kattar some punishment. Still, Kattar wasn’t going to give up so it continued. I might be a bit caught up in the moment so I won’t fully commit to this, but this was the best I can remember Holloway looking. Maybe I’m forgetting something but damn, Holloway looked fantastic in this fight. Good win for Holloway. Two of the judges scored the fight 50-43 for Holloway and one judge scored it 50-42 for Holloway, that’s how dominant this win was. Holloway also set a multitude of records for strikes attempted and landed, differential, head strikes, body strikes, etc.
Holloway got back on the winning track after two straight losses to UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski. I’m not a big fan of someone fighting the same opponent three times in a row, as Volkanovski would be doing if he fought Holloway again, but a performance like this really makes me think Holloway could beat him if they fought again. I don’t know, maybe I’m caught up in the moment, but I think I would like to see those guys fight again.
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