Calvin Kattar is nicknamed “The Boston Finisher,” and he hopes to live up to that nickname in his Octagon debut at UFC 214 on Saturday against Andre Fili.
Calvin Kattar has waited a long time to fight in the Octagon, and now he’s a day away from his promotional debut.
Kattar is scheduled to compete as a UFC fighter for the first time on the UFC 214 preliminary card against Andre Fili. He accepted the fight on short notice after Doo Ho Choi pulled out of the Anaheim, CA, pay-per-view card, and has had two months to prepare for the biggest fight of his life.
Kattar isn’t too bothered about being a short-notice replacement. After all, that seems to be the best way to get into the UFC nowadays. The featherweight was, however, somewhat confused as to why the UFC did not sign him to fight Fili right after Fili’s original opponent, Choi, was announced off the card in mid June. He could have had over a month to prepare for “Touchy.”
“That is kind of interesting; I was wondering the same thing, actually,” Kattar told BloodyElbow.com. “But I’m just happy that I got the call when I did, no matter when it was. This is the opportunity that I’ve been waiting for, and I’m very ready for it.”
Kattar is a sizable underdog ahead of his Saturday night debut, and the Massachusetts-based fighter said that has decreased the amount of pressure he is feeling. He hasn’t been a betting underdog in over four years, so he doesn’t mind his opponent being favored for the first time in awhile.
That said, his expectations for himself are still high.
“It’s nice to be the underdog for the first time in quite awhile,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I do hold myself accountable to a certain level of performance, which is why I’m here today. I expect a lot out of myself and I won’t be happy unless I go out there and perform to my capabilities.”
Kattar’s official nickname is “The Boston Finisher,” yet the 29-year-old’s last six wins have all come by way of decision, and he hasn’t won a fight inside the distance since 2010. So where’d the nickname come from, you ask, and how will he live up to it at UFC 214?
“The nickname came about because I was fighting a kid from New York and the promoters just wanted to play on that Boston vs. New York storyline — it’s not a nickname that I’ve ever really promoted myself,” he said. “But I I love finishing fights. It’s been awhile since I’ve done it, unfortunately. I’ve come close lately, and it’s definitely something that I’m gunning for.
“I don’t know what I would have to change; I don’t consider myself a conservative fighter. I’m hoping one comes Saturday night.”
On paper, UFC 214 is the best card of fights the premier MMA organization has put together in 2017. The pay-per-view event features a highly-anticipated light heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, as well as two other championship fights and a slew of other exciting matchups.
Kattar gets to be part of all that, and that’s something he’s really looking forward to.
“I just watched a little bit of the countdown to it today and it hit me: ‘Holy sh-t, this is a big card!’ It’s starting to click. It’s a great opportunity; I couldn’t ask to be on a bigger card, especially for my debut. It’s definitely nice to be a part of this. … But at the end of the day, this is what I’ve always done. On Saturday night, it won’t be any different — there will just be more people watching.”