Calvin Kattar Gets Shot at Former Champ

January 30, 2024

Athlete Studio

Life has always thrown curveballs at Calvin Kattar, but he's never shied away from a challenge From his journey as a UFC contender to his recovery from a torn ACL, Kattar has faced his share of obstacles and emerged stronger.

In recent years, Kattar has not only faced professional setbacks but personal ones as well. Kattar suffered a torn ACL in a bout in October 2022. He's been rehabbing ever since, and not just in the gym. Kattar purchased a home in Salem, New Hampshire a few months ago, which he's been renovating himself.

"I work out every day, do my training, and then go to Home Depot. It’s a lot of work, fixing up your house, but it’s coming along. I’m trying to save a little money and do some of the work myself," says the 34-year-old.

Despite the challenges, Kattar remains optimistic. His home might be in disarray, but his UFC career is back on track. He's signed to fight former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 300 on April 13 in Las Vegas. This bout holds significant promise for Kattar, potentially propelling him back into title contention.

Aljamain Sterling, a former champ, is moving up from 135 pounds to fight Kattar at 145 pounds. Experts believe this bout could be one of the main events, alongside other high-profile fights featuring Jiri Prochazka, Aleksandr Rakic, Bo Nickal, and Cody Brundage.

Kattar remains unfazed by the pressure, stating, “It doesn’t change my mindset,” said Kattar. “That has never wavered. I’m fighting to win and to further reach my eventual goal. I prepare every day the same, whether I’m coming off a win or a loss.

“Setbacks happen,” he noted. “If I am who I think I am, that’s what they are – just detours.”

Despite being the favorite over Sterling, Kattar doesn't underestimate his opponent. “He thinks it’s a good matchup for him. I’ve got to show him he picked the wrong fighter,” says Kattar.

His ACL is nearly 100% healed, and he's eager to return to the ring. Kattar believes his time away from the ring has only fueled his passion for the sport.

The bout with Sterling is three 5-minute rounds, a change from Kattar's usual five rounds. This makes the start of the fight crucial.

“Aljo is a Jujitsu guy. You’re playing with fire every second. I need to be aggressive, take everything and give nothing,” says Kattar.

With a little over a month until the fight, Kattar plans to ramp up his training even more. He may even train at the UFC facility in Las Vegas two weeks before the bout.

“Aljo is a legit fight, a former champion. I respect what he has accomplished. But I’m where I belong. He’s in front of me on my way to my ultimate goal. Nothing has changed for me. Nothing,” Kattar states.

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