The newly created Moody Center in Austin, Texas will host its first UFC event on Saturday night. Headlining the card is “The Boston Finisher” Calvin Kattar’s showdown with the seventh-ranked featherweight Josh Emmett, while Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes on Joe Lauzon in a bout originally intended for UFC 274 last month but was postponed due to illness.
It’s set to be an exciting night of action as contenders from all over intend on making a name for themselves in the Lone Star State.
Where: Moody Center, Austin, Texas
When: Prelims from 9pm BST, Main Card from 12am BST
How To Watch: Watch live on BT Sport 1 from 10pm BST
Kattar v Emmett
Calvin Kattar’s fighting career is currently in need of some momentum. Prior to Max Holloway’s demolition of him back in January 2021, wins against Dan Ige and Jeremy Stephens had pointed the New Jersey native in the direction of title contention.
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The Holloway fight derailed him however, with the Hawaiian putting in the best offensive performance of the year, rocking Kattar to his core with a horrific beatdown that went a full five rounds. Since then he has recovered with a Fight of the Night award-winning victory over Georgian kickboxer Giga Chikadze by unanimous decision.
Josh Emmett enters the fight with a similar rap sheet to his opponent with wins over Ige and Shane Burgos in the last two years, two performance bonuses in his last three fights and both men have spent most of last year recovering. Despite this, the Arizonan is in a different place in his career.
Aged 37, he has just two fights left on his contract after resigning in 2020 ahead of his UD win over Burgos. A victory over a contender like Kattar will no doubt grease the wheels in the next contract negotiations for him and get him fighting inside the top five of the featherweight division for another year.
Expect this fight to go the distance. Kattar had a nice record of getting finishes inside one minute back in his pre-UFC days, but neither man has had wins within the distance in over two years. Kattar has a more elite level of striking but Emmett’s wrestling can make life difficult if he’s unable to get off his back for 25 minutes.
Cowboy v Lauzon
Donald Cerrone will be a legend no matter what happens on Saturday night. The arena will no doubt be at its loudest when his bowed head and Stetson emerge from the tunnel to begin his walk to the cage. For ‘Cowboy’, this is what it’s all about. The legacy will be there, but Cerrone has already gone on record saying he wants to finish at 50 career fights, and he’ll be on fight 49 after Saturday night.
The outspoken lightweight hasn’t won a fight since 2019, getting beaten by Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, Anthony Pettis and Alex Morono, as well as a majority draw against Niko Price that was overturned to a no-contest after Price tested positive for marijuana.
His opponent on the night is fellow UFC hero, Joe Lauzon. J-Lau has the second most finishes in the lightweight division, has the most submission of the night awards and is tied second with Nate Diaz for most post-fight awards in UFC history. Like Cerrone, Lauzon has earned the chance to send his career off with style, and unlike Cerrone, he’s still winning despite his age. A win last time out in 2019 against Jonathan Pearce via TKO shows he’s still got a trick or two to get an opponent out of the Octagon and his obscene submissions will no doubt play a role on Saturday night.
Lauzon spoke to MMA Junkie ahead of this fight, declaring that “It could be the last one,” and that “It’s just been a lot of wear and tear, a very grinding process.”
Retirement plans can often be changed after a good performance, so we’ll have to wait and see on Saturday night whether Lauzon decides to hang up the gloves or carry on.
There is a third semi-headlining fight on Saturday night when Kevin Holland meets Tim Means. Holland boasted the most wins in a calendar year with five back in 2020 before registering the quickest turnaround between two main events ever, losing to Marvin Vettori just three weeks after losing to Derek Brunson. Since then, a no contest against Kyle Daukaus after a clash of heads and a win over Alex Oliveira in March 2022 sees him pitted against Tim Means, a veteran fighter on a three fight win streak. Daukaus is also in action again, with the D’Arce Knight opening the card against 9-1 Georgian, Roman Dolidze.
The Full Card
Calvin Kattar vs Josh Emmett (Featherweight)
Donald Cerrone vs Joe Lauzon (Lightweight)
Tim Means vs Kevin Holland (Welterweight)
Joaquin Buckley vs Albert Duraev (Middleweight)
Damir Ismagulov vs Guram Kutateladze (Lightweight)
Julian Marquez vs Gregory Rodrigues (Middleweight)
Adrian Yanez vs Tony Kelley (Bantamweight)
Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Natalia Silva (Flyweight)
Court McGee vs Jeremiah Wells (Welterweight)
Ricardo Ramos vs Danny Chavez (Featherweight)
Maria Oliveira vs Gloria De Paula (Strawweight)
Eddie Wineland vs Cody Stamann (Bantamweight)
Phil Hawes vs Deron Winn (Middleweight)
Roman Dolidze vs Kyle Daukaus (Middleweight)
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