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|Alessio Di Chirico||+215
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Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar – Featherweight Division
Calvin Kattar (+138)
Carlon Condit vs Matt Brown – Welterweight Division
Carlon Condit (-155)
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Li Jingliang – Welterweight Division
Santiago Ponzinibbio (-265)
Alessio Di Chirico vs Joaquin Buckley – Middleweight Division
Joaquin Buckley (-278)
Carlos Felipe vs Justin Tafa – Heavyweight Division
Justin Tafa (+160)
David Zawada vs Ramazan Emeev – Welterweight Division
Ramazan Emeev (-265)
|UFC on ABC: Holloway vs Kattar Information|
|What||UFC on ABC: Holloway vs Kattar|
|Where||Flash Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi|
|When||Saturday, January 16, 3 PM EST|
|How to watch||UFC Fight Pass, ABC, TSN|
Saturday night will mark the first time that Max Holloway has not fought for a UFC title since 2016. It will also mark his first fight not featured on a UFC pay-per-view since 2015. Since the start of 2015, Holloway has gone 10-3 in the octagon. He won an interim featherweight title against Anthony Pettis, unified the titles with a win over champion Jose Aldo, and then defended his undisputed title three times (against Aldo, Brian Ortega, and Frankie Edgar). Always down for a fight, Holloway has seven-fight bonuses to his name and has the most wins in the history of the featherweight division.
Unfortunately, Holloway’s last two fights haven’t gone as planned. In December 2019, at UFC 245, Holloway took on challenger Alexander Volkanovski and was defeated via unanimous decision. But due to his impressive resume and dominant reign as champion, Holloway was offered an immediate rematch. This fight was even more upsetting for Holloway, as he lost via split-decision this time at UFC 251. Many fans and pundits had the fight in favor of Holloway but the judges didn’t see it that way. It marked the first time since 2013 that Holloway had lost two fights in a row.
Always considered quite big for the division, the 29-year-old “Blessed” stands at 5 ft. 11 in. tall and has a reach of 69 inches. Born out of Hawaii, Holloway trains with Gracie Technics and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rylan Lizares and Pedro Sauer. Fighting professionally since 2010, he is considered by many to be the greatest featherweight ever. He is still ranked as the number-one featherweight in the division under the champion and is the number-eight fighter on the men’s pound-for-pound rankings list.
There is no doubt that Saturday night will be the biggest test of Calvin Kattar’s career, but it’s coming at a perfect time for the “Boston Finisher” as he is coming off of the biggest win of his career.
Following a very competitive fight against fast-rising star Zabit Magomedsharipov which he lost by decision (fight of the night honors), Kattar went on to take on UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens at UFC 249 last May. Kattar dominated the fight into the second round before securing a knock out via elbows. His most recent fight was his most impressive as he took on Dan Ige who entered the bout riding a six-fight winning streak and who had just defeated Edson Barboza.
Kattar and Ige headlined their own Fight Night event this past July and Kattar would go on to win the bout via unanimous decision.
Fighting since 2007, Kattar is three years older than Holloway. Surprisingly, he equals Holloway in height, as well – standing at 5 ft. 11 in. He also enters this matchup with an advantage of three-inches of reach. Kattar trains with the New England Cartel as well as with Lauzon MMA. Known for his boxing, Katter also holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He enters this bout Saturday night ranked as the sixth-best featherweight in the division.
Call us crazy, but this might be Kattar’s time and we’re going with the underdog.
The former UFC interim welterweight champion returns to the octagon Saturday night. Carlos Condit has struggled as of late, recently suffering through a five-fight losing streak. But he stepped back into the winner’s circle after his most recent fight in which he defeated Court McGee via unanimous decision last October.
The 36-year-old Condit stands at 6 ft. 1 in. tall and has a reach of 76 inches. The former interim champion trains under coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn at the Jackson-Wink MMA Academy in New Mexico. A professional fighter since 2002, Carlos Condit holds a black belt in gaidojutsu, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a purple belt in 10th Planet jiu-jitsu. He is currently unranked in the welterweight division.
Another UFC welterweight legend, Matt Brown has had mixed success over his recent years. Brown suffered three losses in a row in 2016 culminating with a head kick knockout loss to Donald Cerrone that caused Brown to semi-retire due to suffering from severe concussion symptoms. He returned to the octagon in 2017 and defeated Diego Sanchez and then fought again in 2019, defeating Ben Saunders by KO at UFC 245.
He most recently fought against Miguel Baeza last May but lost the bout via TKO just 18-seconds into the second round.
Brown is three-years older than his opponent Saturday night and will stand one-inch shorter and be at a one-half-inch reach disadvantage in the bout. Training out of Ohio with his home gym Immortal Martial Arts, Brown has been fighting since the year 2004. He holds brown belts in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as a green belt in jujutsu. He was also a contestant on the seventh season of the Ultimate Fighter reality series.
The heavily stacked and highly competitive welterweight division is about to get a little more interesting as top-10 contender Santiago Ponzinibbio returns to the octagon after more than a two-year layoff.
Ponzinibbio was a top prospect in the welterweight division throughout 2017 and 2018, enjoying a stretch that saw him win seven fights in a row over the likes of Mike Perry, Gunnar Nelson, and Zak Cummings. His most recent bout was in 2018 when he took on top-contender Neil Magny and defeated him via fourth-round knockout, earning him a performance of the night bonus.
Ponzinibbio has suffered from some health issues since. He pulled out of a 2019 bout against Robbie Lawler due to a staph infection. But he seems to be healthy and ready to retake his rightful spot in the welterweight rankings this Saturday night.
The Argentinian fighter stands at 6 ft. tall and has a reach of 75 inches. He trains out of Florida with the always impressive American Top Team gym. Fighting since 2008, Ponzinibbio holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu . Before his two years of inaction, Ponzinibbio had been ranked as the seventh-best welterweight in the promotion.
Li Jingliang is actually taking this fight on short notice, filling in for Muslim Salikhov who had to pull out of this fight due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Jingliang was riding a three-fight winning streak heading into his most recent fight which came against the last man that Ponzinibbio had beaten: Neil Magny. Unfortunately for Jingliang, he was defeated by Magny via unanimous decision last March at UFC 248.
The Chinese fighter stands equal to his opponent at 6 ft. tall but will be at a reach disadvantage of three inches. Jingliang trains out of his home country with China Top Team and also boasts a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He has been fighting professionally since 2007 and seems to be on the cusp of cracking the top-15 in the division.
The past two years have not been easy for Alessio Di Chirico and they aren’t necessarily going to get better with a matchup against rising star Joaquin Buckley. Di Chirico is currently riding a three-fight winning streak with his most recent loss coming against Zak Cummings last August. Di Chirico lost each of his last three fights via unanimous decision.
Born in Italy, the 31-year-old fighter stands at 6 ft. tall and has a reach of 74 inches. The orthodox fighter trains out of his home country at the GLORIA Fight Center with coach Lorenzo Borgomeo. He has been fighting since 2011 and joined the UFC roster in 2016.
The winner of 2020’s Knockout of the Year award made his mark on the middleweight division with his absolutely insane spinning kick knockout of Impa Kasanganay last October, earning him a performance of the night bonus. He had a quick turn around, fighting one month later and defeating Jordan Wright at UFC 255 via second-round knockout. He was awarded another performance bonus. He turns things around quickly once again as he takes this fight against Alessio Di Chirico just two months removed from his last fight.
The 26-year-old Buckley will stand four-inches shorter than his opponent Saturday night but will have a two-inch reach advantage on the feet. Fighting out of St. Louis, Buckley currently trains with the Murcielago MMA team. He has been fighting since 2014 and was one of the middleweight division’s breakout stars of 2020. He has yet to crack the top-15 rankings.
Undefeated at 8-0 when signing with the UFC, Carlos Felipe made his debut against Sergey Spivak last July. In what was a close fight, Felipe ultimately lost the bout via majority decision. However, he would bounce back in his most recent fight. He was put up against Yorgan de Castro last October and Felipe would earn his first UFC victory via unanimous decision.
The 25-year-old Brazilian heavyweight stands at 6 ft. tall and has a reach of 75 inches. Training under head coach Edilson Teixeira, Felipe works with the LIFE MMA gym. He is 1-1 under the UFC banner.
Justin Tafa’s UFC career is almost a mirror image of his opponent’s. Undefeated at 3-0, he debuted for the promotion in 2019. Tafa would lose to the man Felipe beat – Yorgan de Castro. He would win his next, and most recent, fight however by knocking out Juan Adams in the first round of their UFC 247 bout last February.
The Australian fighter stands equal to his opponent at 6 ft. tall but will be at a one-inch reach disadvantage Saturday night. The 27-year-old trains out of his home country and has compared his style to that of MMA legend Mark Hunt.
David Zawada entered the UFC riding a five-fight winning streak but the start of his UFC career didn’t go as planned. Zawada debuted against Danny Roberts and lost what became the Fight of the Night via split-decision. He would lose his next fight as well, to Li Jingliang, via third-round TKO.
However, Zawada finally got his first win for the promotion in his last fight – which was over a year ago in November 2019. He fought Abubakar Nurmagomedov and submitted him in the first round, earning a performance of the night bonus.
Born in Germany, the 30-year-old Zawada stands at an even 6 ft. tall and has a reach of 75 inches. The welterweight trains out of his home country with the UFC Gym under trainer Christian Mohr. He has been fighting since 2010 and is a former Respect FC welterweight champion.
A former M-1 Challenge fighter, Ramazan Emeev has had a much better start to his UFC career than his opponent. Now 4-1 in the UFC, Emeev won his first three straight, including his debut against Sam Alvey. He lost to Anthony Rocco Martin in 2019 but got himself back into the winner’s circle last summer when he defeated Niklas Stolze via unanimous decision.
The Russian fighter is three years older than Zawada. He will stand two inches shorter than his opponent Saturday but will have a one-inch advantage in the reach department. Known for his sambo and grappling, Emeev trains with both Gorets MMA and American Top Team. He boasts an international master of sports in combat sambo, a discipline in which he is a former world champion. He is also a former M-1 Global middleweight champion. He has been fighting since 2009.
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