UFC Vegas 46, UFC Apex, Las Vegas:

A year ago, Calvin Kattar went to war with Max Holloway, and like many others, came out on the short end. But “The Boston Finisher” took that stretch to retool himself, and it paid off. In white-washing the surging Giga Chikadze 50-45 (2x), 50-44; Kattar needs another win to reach his goal. Two at the most.

That’s the thing about the Top-5. What separates them isn’t hairs, it’s a single strand. Post-fight he was praised by his former foe, and the man holding the strap, Alexander Volkanovski.

Kattar Needs Another Win At Least To Reach His Goal

Kattar’s strength has always been his stand-up boxing. And with his output improving (see his significant strikes rounds 2-5: 49, 55, 48, 72); he will cause problems for the rest of the cream of the crop at 145. Despite that flurry he throws, four of his last five have been unanimous decisions, where he’s 2-2. You’d rather have a title challenger come in not only on a win streak, but with them being stoppages. Truth be told, that makes selling fights the easiest. But beggar’s can’t be choosers.

The champion has his hands full with Chan Sung Jung in April, and Holloway out for a prolonged time with injury (who knows how much longer the Hawaiian will stay at featherweight); Kattar’s on the cusp. The Bostonian himself knows he’s just a tad off.

“I knew what I had, I think everyone else is learning. I know I can fight like this if I’ve got to. But I still got to clean this s**t up. This is no shape for a winner to look like or be in but I’m just happy to walk away with the win.”

So, it comes down to either Yair Rodriguez or Brian Ortega. Looking at things as they are right now; in the cage, the easier fight for him would be Rodriguez. Almost half of his wins come on the scorecards. Despite the roll he’s on right now, Kattar does have 13-stoppages, and 10-in the opening frame. The game-plan he used against Chikadze duplicated most likely doesn’t go past round-3. The 29-year old Mexican just has more holes than Ortega does.

Kattar would be able to bring the fight to the mat to wrestle, pound on him from a dominant position, and the flurry he’d throw at him standing would break down that chin. With Ortega’s knack to find submissions out of nowhere, in theory you can assume he’d jump guard with Kattar closing range. He is able to find the smallest of holes. While Rodriguez has a better chin than “T-City”, you really don’t want to be put to sleep in a title eliminator.

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Cyclone, considers himself the Chris "MadDog" Russo of combat sports. He got the nickname in 1984 after riding the roller coaster multiple times, and then made it his professional name. He's been officially covering combat sports since January 2017 when Chael Sonnen fought Tito Ortiz. Cyclone's been lucky enough to do some regional mma play-by-play. Loving to entertain since childhood, he continues to round out his schedule as a comedian, actor, producer, and show host. Away from the "bright lights", he enjoys cooking, fishing, and gambling. A lover of animals Cyclone hopes to one day return to working at an animal shelter.

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