Calvin Kattar landed a knee, Dan Ige slipped to the canvas, and Kattar received on high, throwing punches downward as exhausting as he might. The time on the clock expired. The struggle was over.

By then, Kattar had the choice within the bag. However he was nonetheless attempting to complete, even within the remaining seconds.

Kattar was in a position to safe a unanimous determination (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) Wednesday over Dan Ige within the featherweight principal occasion of UFC Struggle Evening on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. Judges Ben Cartlidge and Mark Collett gave Kattar each spherical aside from the second. Decide Dave Lethaby gave Ige within the second and third rounds.

Kattar’s boxing, particularly his energy, was the distinction. Ige’s proper eye fully swelled up late within the fifth spherical.

“I used to be joyful to exit with my crew and eventually give ourselves a principal occasion win, and what higher spot than out right here in Abu Dhabi on Struggle Island,” Kattar stated. “Wherever, anytime, that is my mindset. We simply observe the place the alternatives are at, we had an enormous one right here in Abu Dhabi, like I stated, I am simply joyful to go and capitalize. It is an excellent verify level for me and my crew.”

Coming in, Kattar was ranked No. eight on the planet amongst MMA featherweights by ESPN. The victory places Kattar, who has gained twice in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, nearer to that title dialog. Kattar is the one fighter who has two wins because the UFC restarted Might 9 following a COVID-19 hiatus.

Alexander Volkanovski efficiently defended the featherweight belt on Saturday at UFC 251 in a win over former champ Max Holloway. Kattar instructed UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik in his postfight interview that a whole lot of 145-pound contenders are calling out Volkanovski from the consolation of their houses — and Kattar stated he is strolling the stroll.

“I am going out. I am combating and incomes it,” Kattar stated. “If the champ says he needs some contenders, he is received one in me.”

The cardboard befell in entrance of no followers on the lately constructed Flash Discussion board, which sits inside a secure zone through which everybody who enters have to be examined for COVID-19. Yas Island has been dubbed “Struggle Island” by the UFC for this month’s slate of occasions. UFC Struggle Evening: Kattar vs. Ige was the second UFC card in 5 days on the venue, following UFC 251 on Saturday.

Kattar received off to a powerful begin within the first spherical, touchdown stable boxing combos and dealing Ige’s physique with hooks. Ige had his moments, too, together with an enormous proper hand that surprised Kattar and might need damaged his oft-broken nostril. With momentum on his aspect, Ige had an enormous second spherical, utilizing his velocity and motion to go out and in and land combos.

“I am going to take, it man,” Kattar stated of doubtless reinjuring his nostril. “I feel it is robust to not get injury in my fights with my model.”

Kattar later added: “In a 25-minute struggle, you are going to get hit with some s—. I felt like I hit him with much more and if there have been a pair extra rounds, perhaps I get the end, however with that child you are gonna must struggle to the dying. He is a troublesome child, six struggle win streak, you do not get that by luck.”

Within the third spherical, Kattar was in a position to make changes and land more durable punches. For a lot of the struggle, it was a battle between Kattar’s energy and Ige’s quickness. Kattar tried to stroll Ige down all through however had a troublesome time slicing off the cage. When Kattar landed, although, it was with the heavier photographs. These added up within the late rounds in what was nonetheless a reasonably shut struggle. Kattar was additionally in a position to stuff all 9 of Ige’s takedown makes an attempt.

“Calvin is likely one of the greatest on the planet,” Ige stated. “I examined myself towards among the best on the planet. I am simply gonna continue to grow and getting higher.”

Kattar (22-4) was coming off a vicious second-round TKO of Jeremy Stephens at UFC 249 in Might. The Massachusetts native has gained three of his previous 4 fights and 5 of seven total within the UFC. Kattar, 32, joined Volkanovski as the one featherweights with three wins towards UFC top-10 contenders since 2019, per ESPN Stats & Data.

Ige’s (14-3) six-fight profitable streak was snapped. The Hawaii native was coming off a split-decision win over Edson Barboza on Might 16. Earlier than Wednesday, Ige, 28, had not misplaced since his UFC debut in January 2018.