It is safe to say that the UFC is returning from its brief four-week hiatus on a big note. Not only will UFC Fight Island 7 be the first UFC event of 2021, but it marks the organization’s third stint on the infamous Fight Island. On top of this, the main card will be airing on ABC Network, which will be the first time that the UFC has held an event on network television since December 15, 2018, which was headlined by Lightweights, Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta.
In our UFC Fight Island 7 main event, we have a Featherweight Division clash between the former champion and now the number one ranked contender, Max Holloway, and the number six ranked Calvin Kattar. This fight holds huge implications for not only who the next title challenger in this division could be, but for the careers of both of these men. Let’s take a look at how both of their resumes stack up against one another!
Let’s start with Max Holloway, the pride of Hawaii. When I hear this name, I automatically think of greatness, a superstar, a fan favorite, and everything in between. We are talking about a guy that came into the UFC at 20 years of age and has not once been in a dull fight. Max has battled with the who’s who of this Featherweight Division for nearly nine years and has never strayed away from putting it all on the line every time he steps into the octagon.
With a record of 21-6 (17-6 in the UFC), Max has beaten the likes of Andre Fili, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, and Anthony Pettis… And that was just to earn his undisputed title shot! Now take into account that he destroyed the Featherweight King, Jose Aldo, not once but TWICE. The first, to become the undisputed champion, and the second being an immediate rematch in what would be Max’s first title defense. Holloway then goes on to not only defend his belt a second time but put on a masterful striking clinic against Brian Ortega, who at the time was a fast-rising undefeated prospect. From there, Max was granted the opportunity to fight for the Interim Lightweight title against Dustin Poirier, where he came up short in an incredible five-round war. Thus leading him to return to Featherweight and make his third title defense against UFC legend and ageless wonder that is Frankie Edgar.
However, all reigns must come to an end, and that is where Alexander Volkanovski enters the equation. Volk not only beat Max Holloway to become the new Featherweight champion at UFC 245 but ended Max’s fourteen fight win streak at 145 pounds. However, a dominant champion like Max was given the immediate rematch this past July on Fight Island at UFC 251. Although the results were the same, with Max falling short once again, many would say the split decision was a robbery. I personally don’t like to throw this word around too much, however, I did score the rematch in favor of Holloway, three rounds to two, but I digress. This brings us to his main event slot with Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Island 7 and I must say, there are a lot of questions here for the former champion. Has he hit his prime already? Will he earn a title shot with a victory? What kind of performance can we expect out of Max? This Saturday will go a long way in answering those questions.
On the other side of the octagon, we have Calvin Kattar. The face of the New England Cartel and no I’m not talking about a gang. I am talking about the star-studded gym out of Boston, Massachusetts. This team has produced some very high-level boxers, and none have taken the UFC by storm quite like Kattar. Although he has only been in the UFC since 2017, Calvin has made a very clear statement as to why he deserves the main event slot against one of the best to ever step inside the octagon.
With a record of 22-4 (6-2 in the UFC), Calvin has quickly proven just how skilled of a standup fighter he is, with KO/TKO victories over the likes of Shane Burgos, Ricardo Lamas, and Jeremy Stephens. To add to his resume, Kattar’s last outing at UFC Fight Island 1 was the main event slot against rising prospect and Dana White Contender Series alum, Dan Ige. This performance showed just how capable Calvin is at keeping a heavy pace for all five rounds and that he can go into the so-called “deep waters” to claw out a victory. Calvin is coming into this fight looking to make a statement and showcase why he should be next for a title shot. An underrated fighter like himself, he surely realizes that with two back-to-back main events, he is one step away from becoming a household name of this stacked UFC Featherweight division.
As for how this fight plays out, I like to throw around a phrase every now and again called “Beautiful Chaos” which will be exactly what we see here. Five rounds of non-stop action and what I foresee being a boxing match with MMA gloves on. Both of these strikers have so much precision and patience, yet any strike they land could be the beginning of the end for either fighter. There will be so many different displays of high-level striking from each of them and that will surely treat us to an incredible fight. I would even go as far as saying that our first UFC main event of the year, UFC Fight Island 7, may just be in talks for the Fight of the Year when we get to the end of 2021. With so much on the line for both fighters, I can only imagine that they will leave it all in the cage until the final horn sounds. UFC Fight Island 7
For Max, a shot to prove there is still plenty of gas left in the tank and that he is ready to reclaim his title. For Calvin, a chance to prove he belongs with the elite of this division and to earn his first shot at the coveted UFC gold. This UFC Fight Island 7 main event is a can’t miss fight and dare I say, the perfect way to start the UFC calendar for 2021. Ladies and gentlemen buckle in because we are in for a treat this coming Saturday in UFC Fight Island 7! UFC Fight Island 7
Fight Prediction: Max Holloway via Unanimous Decision UFC Fight Island 7
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