Round 1 – It sounds loud at the Moody Center! This is a big deal at featherweight. We are on the way. Kattar is a moderate favorite here. Let’s see if the odds makers are right. Both guys are very patient. There haven’t been many strikes yet. Kattar measuring range right now. We’ve been in the fight for a minute and there were practically no strikes thrown. The crowd boos. Kattar circled away from Emmett’s power hand. He stumbles against the fence. He reappears and throws a two-hit combo. Kattar jabs and hits a leg kick. There’s a lot of snooping around. Emmett throws a few punches, then a leg kick. Emmett lands a right hand. Kattar stings. Emmett is bleeding from his left eye. They open up and exchange ideas. Emmett hits with his left hand and then shoots. Emmett lands on break. Horn sounds. 10-9 Emmett.
Round 2 – Let’s see if this continues here. Emmett lands a combo and then follows it with his right hand. Emmett tries the same punch again. That’s usually his killshot, so I’m assuming there’s more where that came from. Kattar needs to… throw something. He just stands there and fights too sure. Kattar stings. Emmett is bleeding even more now. That push essentially stopped Emmett. He stopped pushing forward. Kattar lands a standing elbow. Emmett walks with punches to the body. Emmett flies in with a combination. Kattar ducks from a massive right hand. Emmett tries to switch poses briefly. Then he switches back. Emmett ducks under a kattar combo and lands a punch. Kattar blows his nose. Emmett threatens a takedown and lands a combo. Emmett ducks for a takedown again and Kattar knee feeds him. That was well timed. Kattar lands another. Emmett lands another hard combination in front of the horn. 20-18 Emmet.
Round 3 – Kattar does good. He just needs to do more of it. Right now he’s probably down with two zips. Emmett comes out with a combination. Emmett goes down Kattar and lands a big overhand right. Emmett lands another combination. Kattar lands an elbow. Emmett almost turns around with a right hand that misses. He has uncanny power in his right fist. Emmett kicks the leg. Emmett lands an overhand right. Kattar goes back to his jab and lands a nice uppercut. Another Emmett right hand lands. Emmett has attempted this standing back elbow a few times. Anderson Silva-esque. A randomly noticeable weapon in an otherwise meat and potato attack so far. Kattar is bloody now. The round ends. 30-27 Emmett.
Lap 4 – An interesting conversation took place in the corner of Kattar. Coach Tyson Chartier asked Kattar what the problem was. Kattar said, “It’s loading.” Seems Kattar is concerned about Emmett’s power. Let’s see if Kattar heeds his coach’s advice to be aggressive – and see if it pays off. Emmett lands a combination. Emmett charges at Kattar, lands a combo, pushes him against the fence and shoots. Kattar avoids. you break. Kattar lands an elbow. I feel like the two men’s confidence is going in opposite directions. Kattar is becoming more and more shy. Emmett is getting better and better. Both men land. Emmett aims for the body again. Both boys have welts under one eye. Kattar cracks Emmett with a spining back elbow. That was loud. They split up. Kattar elbows Emmett, who staggers away. That was the rockiest punch of the fight for both men. Emmett’s face is a mess now. That elbow has done its damage. Emmett shoots and surrenders. Kattar hunts – straight into the damage. Ouch. Emmett flashes. Kattar avoids. The horn sounds and the two bloodied fighters face each other. This is going to be good. 39-37 Emmett.
Round 5 – “Let’s fucking do this,” Chartier tells Kattar. Meanwhile, Emmett’s corner tells their fighter it’s 3-1. The doctor gives Emmett’s eye release and we’re good to go. The final round begins. Before the break, Kattar slowly gained momentum. Let’s see if he picks up where he left off. Kattar stings. He lands with his right hand. Emmett lands a combination. A nice uppercut counter ends up with Kattar. Then he comes over the top with his right hand. Emmett dives down for a takedown. Kattar stuffs it. Emmett lands a leg kick. A check hook lands for Kattar, who moves out of Emmett’s reach. Both fighters land. Emmett pushes forward and Kattar blocks his headbutt. Kattar doubles his jab. Its volume decreases again. Kattar lands a nice right hand. Emmett lands a left hand. Kattar talks to Emmett. He seems to want to act, but moves backwards. A good right hand lands for Kattar. Emmett misses wildly as Kattar dodges. Both guys try to turn the backfists. They both miss, causing the two fighters to laugh as the final horn sounds. MMA Junkie scores 48-47 Emmett.
result: Josh Emmett defeated. Calvin Kattar by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
records: Calvin Kattar (23-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), Josh Emmett (18-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC)
referee: Herb Dean
To judge: Sal D’Amato (48-47 Emmett, scorer in Rounds 4 and 5 for Kattar); Chris Lee (48-47, goals in Rounds 2 and 5 for Kattar); Doug Crosby (48-47 Kattar, goals in rounds 1 and 3 for Emmett)