Calvin Kattar knows he’ll be asked about his most recent fight, but in his eyes, it’s a thing of the past.
Kattar looks to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss to Max Holloway in the main event of UFC Fight Island 7 — a fight where the New England Cartel co-founder absorbed a record-breaking amount of strikes — when he faces Giga Chikadze in the first promotional headliner of 2022 on Jan. 15.
“The Boston Finisher” is well aware that some fans, even fighters, tried to have some fun at his expense, including Chikadze according to a group chat he’s a part of. He admits that the trash talk helped put Chikadze on his radar.
“As of late, maybe, but he said some sh*t after my last fight,” Kattar said on The MMA Hour. “Supposedly Giga had said something — I honestly didn’t hear what he said — but it was distasteful. He had something to say after my last fight and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make him pay in the next one.”
Chikadze has won nine straight, including a perfect 7-0 start to his octagon tenure. The No. 8-ranked fighter on MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings has finished his last three opponents, Jamey Simmons, Cub Swanson, and — in his first promotional headliner — Edson Barboza.
Prior to his loss to Holloway, Kattar had picked up wins over Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige. Kattar learned a lot from his fight with the former world champion, but he feels as if he’s rehashed in enough over the last several months.
“He did a lot of things well, but I’ll let Giga try to figure all that sh*t out,” Kattar stated. “As far as the last fight, I know people are gonna want to talk about it, but even if I won that last fight, I’d probably wouldn’t want to talk about it... I’d probably want to talk about it less.
“I’m not so much focused on the last guy as I am the next guy, and even aside from that, I’m more focused on myself than the next guy. I don’t really care that much about these guys, I just try to focus on myself because you can get lost in the opponent — especially if something switches up on fight week and some sh*t happens. I really try to focus on what I can control, the present moment.
“It’s boring sh*t, man, but it pays and shows on fight night, just focusing on what you can control.”