As the saga of UFC 249 continues to roll on, the fighters who have been attached to the event since its initial announcement have been experiencing a multitude of highs and lows as the show has been mired in postponements, location changes, and card shuffling.
Throughout it all, featherweight Calvin Kattar has kept his head down and focused on preparing to fight on the show wherever or whenever it happens.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, but I really try not to get too lost in the hypotheticals – where it’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen – things that are out of my control,” Kattar told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ll just be as prepared as possible should the fight go on and be ready to go.
“With adversity some people get small, some people get big, and for me I’ve always double downed on work ethic and trained harder. I’ll always be ready for the date I’ve signed my name to 20-plus fights and I’ve never pulled out once. There’s no breaks when we get rolling on a fight date.”
While his mentality towards getting ready for a fight hasn’t changed, Kattar has had to make some adjustments in his training during the age of social distancing.
“It’s definitely a lot different than a normal camp,” said Kattar. “For right now it’s just staying around a core group in individualized sessions and just making it happen. Adapting and overcoming. I feel like that’s what a true champion does. I pride myself on holding myself to that level.
“That’s what I’ve had to do, adapt and overcome, and we’ll be ready to go.”
At UFC 249 on May 9 in Florida, Kattar (20-4) is slated to face Jeremy Stephens (28-17) in a main card 145-pound bout that he has been preparing for since 2020 started.
“We have things we think are going to work well against (Stephens), it’s just more time to prepare,” Kattar said. “I’ve never gotten worse with more time to prepare. I feel like the longer this thing goes, it’s not ideal, but we’ll make the best of it and will only be that much more prepared when it’s time to get in there and go.”
At a time where anything can change in a moment’s notice, Kattar is cautiously optimistic about his future while at the same time remaining focused on what he’s got to do to ensure he’s ready for whatever does come his way.
“Maybe it’s not May 9, maybe it’s not Jeremy, maybe something happens to him again, so I’m just focusing on the things I can control,” said Kattar. “You can’t really get too caught up in the bulls–t in this sport, and as far as how chaotic it is right now outside the cage, I feel like this sport it breeds chaos, and I’m ready for that.”