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Calvin Kattar fed off adversity going into last fight of UFC contract

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Moncton-Kattar vs fishgold
Calvin Kattar
Trevor MacMillan-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t take much to get Calvin Kattar geared up for fight night. But the chance to bounce back from a rare loss and impress the brass on the last bout of his contract certainly didn’t hurt.

Kattar (19-3) returned to the win column in impressive fashion at UFC Moncton in October, needing less than a round to put away former Cage Warriors champion Chris Fishgold. It was the second TKO win in three fights for Kattar, who sandwiched those victories around a unanimous decision loss to rising featherweight contender Renato Moicano.

That was the first loss for Kattar in over eight years and he recently told MMA Fighting that the setback left a bitter taste in his mouth that he couldn’t wait to get rid of. And if he could use his next outing to prove his worth to the UFC, even better.

“Coming off of a loss, I’m already on go,” said Kattar. “I can’t get any higher. It so happened that I was on the fourth fight of my contract, but by no means was it physically possible for me to be more on point and focused after a loss than I already was. The fourth fight of the contract, I don’t know, just throw it on the place, it wasn’t that much of a difference, but it added to the adversity side. I do genuinely feed off of it, because there’s a ton around me, there’s a ton around everybody, and I just use mine as fuel.

“So for this one in particular I had a lot of weight and it felt good to just go out, put my back against the wall, and attack the unknown, which in my head my preparation had prepared me for that. To see it unfold the way we thought it would was great.”

With his management primarily overseeing the negotiation of his next deal, Kattar is focused on getting back in the gym, helping teammate Rob Font prepare for his upcoming bantamweight bout at UFC on FOX 31, and organizing Combat Zone 68, which takes place on Nov. 17 in Manchester, N.H.

Kattar took ownership of the Combat Zone promotion during a three-year layoff from 2013-2016 after previously competing under the CZ banner nine times. Being in the UFC, he’s constantly observing how things are run at the big show and how he can work on applying them on a smaller scale. It’s a lot on the plate for the 30-year-old Massachusetts native, who is otherwise staying ready for his next opponent, one that he hopes will be plucked from the top-15 of the UFC rankings.

“I just look at everybody as an opponent, as a possibility, if not right now, in the near future at some point,” Kattar said. “I don’t have friends in this division. There’s people that I respect that compete, but as far as how that works, everybody can get it.”

In the past, Kattar has expressed his desire to someday fight in Las Vegas and when the possibility of taking a relatively short-notice bout at the year-end UFC 232 show in Las Vegas was suggested to him, he admitted that it was an intriguing proposition.

Taking his first UFC loss made Kattar hungry to get back into the cage, and bouncing back from that loss has only intensified that feeling.

“I’m gonna be in training for Rob’s camp and so I’m staying moving,” Kattar said. “If there’s some options like that that present themselves that make sense, I’m open to everything. I just keep my foot on the pedal because as soon as you take it off, that’s when you start to slow down and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.”

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