Two of MMA’s biggest prospects just clashed in Moscow during this evening’s UFC main event of Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Calvin Kattar and BOTH proved why they’re so highly touted.
Magomedsharipov vs Kattar was originally meant to take place last month on the UFC Boston card (headlined by Chris Weidman vs Dominick Reyes), but Zabit was forced out of the bout for some undisclosed reason – he mentioned a staph infection in his post-fight interview tonight, which I assume is that undisclosed reason – and it was moved from the one fighter’s backyard to another.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a main event when it was originally booked, so Zabit wouldn’t agree to change the length of the fight from three to five rounds, and it felt like we were robbed of what could’ve been a really classic fight now in hindsight.
Zabit won the first two rounds pretty clearly. It wasn’t super dominant or anything, but I think it’d be fair to call it the fight the bookmakers thought it would be thru two. I think Kattar and his corner knew they needed a finish coming into the third and final round, though, because he came out there like a bat outta hell. It was just absolute unrelenting pressure, pressure, and more pressure from the striker, to which Zabit really didn’t have many answers. He was getting clipped hard, and the entire momentum of the fight appeared to be shifting. By the end of that round, Magomedsharipov scored a takedown, but was practically holding on for dear life while Kattar lit him up with elbows and strikes from his back.
It ruled, and both fighters would’ve had the opportunity to dig deep and really show who wanted it more had we seen even five more minutes of this one, but unfortunately we didn’t. Maybe some day down the road their paths will cross again.
Calvin and Zabit’s Championship Rounds now join the likes of $20 Chef vs Twitter Troll Round 2 in the Combat Sports “What Could’ve Been” Hall Of Fame.