It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that featherweight Calvin Kattar’s UFC debut was something of a blur.
Taking a fight at UFC 214 last July against Andre Fili on two weeks’ notice, Kattar barely had time to enjoy the experience, but is nonetheless happy he was able to come out with a unanimous decision win.
“I wish we would have a little bit more time with it, but when they call, you answer,” Kattar told MMAWeekly.com. “We had two weeks, so we made the best of it. I was happy to go out there under those circumstances get the W. I was happy with that performance.”
Though Kattar was able to just get in the lone bout against Fili in 2017, he feels like it was a positive year overall for his growth as a fighter.
“In between the fights it really is the work on yourself, as opposed to the conditioning and getting ready for the fights, so I’ve experienced a lot of growth in my game in the last year,” said Kattar. “Even though I only competed once, I learned a lot during that time period.”
Now that he’s in the UFC and has had the time to prepare a full training camp for his second bout with the promotion, Kattar couldn’t be happier.
“The last fight happened on two weeks’ notice, so it was kind of like a flash in the pan, and as soon as I got the opportunity it was gone,” Kattar said. “This one I’ve had some chance to soak it in and think how crazy of an opportunity it was in July.
“I’m playing with house money now. I’m in the UFC. I’m fighting in my backyard. Now I’ve just got to go out and perform.”
Kattar (17-2) will return to the Octagon to take on Shane Burgos (10-0) in a preliminary 145-pound bout at UFC 220 on Saturday in Boston.
“There are no easy fights in the UFC, and Shane is a tough kid, but I see some areas I can capitalize on,” said Kattar. “I see some opportunities for me to come away with a W in this fight. He’s a stand-up guy, I’m stand-up guy, so I’m sure our fight will have the fans on their feet.”
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With his first proper year in the UFC ahead of him, Kattar is looking forward to enjoying each opportunity as it comes his way and continue his work to better himself in 2018.
“I think I’ll take each fight as it comes,” Kattar said. “Each day I’m just focusing on that training session ahead of me. Every day focus on the work. The fights will come, and then they do, our goal is just to get our hand raised, and then worry about the next one after.”