Heading into his bout versus Chris Fishgold at UFC Fight Night 138 last October, featherweight Calvin Kattar admittedly felt he had something to prove.
Coming off a loss in his previous bout to Renato Moicano six months previously, Kattar knew he had to defeat Fishgold should he want to remain in the UFC, and was able to pick up a first round TKO to ensure his tenure in the promotion.
“I was coming off going 2-1 in the UFC and a year, year and a half, removed from my debut, and they wanted to renegotiate my contract,” Kattar told MMAWeekly.com. “At that point they wanted me to earn that and see it through.
“I went into that with a little chip on my shoulder wanting to earn my spot. I had a dominant performance in the first round, but now we’re renegotiated and I’m ready to move on to the next.”
For Kattar, having an edge in a fight is always a good thing; whether it’s something to prove to himself or others.
“You’ve always got to find something,” said Kattar. “For me it’s beating a quality guy like Ricardo Lamas (in my upcoming fight) and testing myself against a guy who has called himself the best.
“I grow each and every time I step in there. I feel like I’ve learned more in the last couple years than I have in my whole career. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve and get an edge.”
At UFC 238 on Saturday in Chicago, Kattar (19-3) will look to get past Lamas (19-7) in a 145-pound preliminary bout and move into the next stage of his career with the promotion.
“I’ve just got to do what I do and come out aggressive and show why I’m the better fighter,” Kattar said. “I feel confident wherever it goes. I’m well-prepared and I’m ready to go, and I’m excited to go out and show that I’m the better fighter in all areas.
“(Lamas has) been a title contender for a while now, so beating a guy like that will put me in that category.”
Now that he’s got his contract situated, Kattar is focused on June 8 and open to whatever opportunity comes his way next.
“We’re on Ricardo Lamas right now, and after him we’ll see what options present themselves, but right now Ricardo Lamas has my full attention,” said Kattar. “It would be unwise to overlook him. He has my full attention for now. I’ll take him out and just see what the UFC offers me next.”