Josh Emmett defeats Calvin Kattar by split decision, calls for title shot

Featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett headlined Saturday’s UFC Austin fight card at the Moody Center in Texas. Kattar entered the bout ranked No. 4 in the 145-pound division while Emmett occupied the No. 7 spot in the rankings.

The two took their time measuring range in the opening minute. Kattar pawed with his jab while Emmett unloaded power punches. Late in the round, Emmett connected with a left hand. He quickly changed levels and looked to get the fight to the ground, but Kattar stifled the attempt. Neither fighter established an advantage in the opening frame.

The pace picked up in the second round. Kattar continued to use his jab to keep Emmett on the outside. Every strike Emmett threw was with power. Kattar began putting together combinations while repeatedly landing his jab. He opened up a cut over Emmett’s left eye but Emmett continued to hunt for a fight-ending opening. Late in the round, Emmett pressed forward with a combination. Kattar answered with knee. As the round ended, Emmett connected to the body.

Emmett came out in the third aggressively. He landed a big right hand. Emmett’s strikes were clearly doing more damage than Kattar’s. Kattar landed a right hand, but Emmett met him with heavy counters. Emmett began going to the body of Kattar. The third round was Emmett’s best of the fight up to that point.

Kattar was the more active of the two in the opening portion of the fourth frame. Kattar continued to land his jab and Emmett continued to headhunt. Kattar connected with a short right hand and then with a spinning elbow. Kattar connected with a right hand that staggered Emmett. Emmett’s left eye was badly swollen by the end of the stanza. Emmett recovered and went on the offense and ended the round with a flurry.

Emmett’s corner told him that he was up three rounds to one heading into the final frame. Kattar continued to utilize his jab. Emmett fought in spurts. The fight ended with both men missing with spinning back elbows.

UFC Austin Live Results: Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett

After 25 minutes of fighting, the judges were split on who won, but two scored the bout for Emmett giving him the win. Following the fight, Emmett said that he believed that he had done enough to get the victory.

“Yes sir. Even the crowd said it itself when I hopped on the cage,” Emmett said. “I thought I had it four (rounds) to one.”

With the win, Emmett extended his winning streak to five consecutive fights and called for a title shot against the UFC 276 winner between champion Alexander Volkanovski and former titleholder Max Holloway.

“There’s a huge title fight in two weeks. I want to be sitting cage side to see who I’m fighting next. Dana [White], give me my shot,” Emmett said.

“Calvin Kattar is ranked number four. Look at the guys he’s fought. The guys, number two and three, they’ve fought the top guys. They’re phenomenal fighters. Holloway and Volkanovski are arguably some of the best featherweights of all time. So much respect to them, but there needs to be new blood in the division and I can get it done.”