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2021 UFC slate kicks off with Holloway vs. Kattar on Fight Island

Photo: UFC

The first UFC fight of 2021 will be headlined by former Featherweight champion and current No. 1 contender Max Holloway and No. 6 contender Calvin Kattar.

After taking nearly a month-long break, the UFC is back in action and will be hosting three events in a one week on Fight Island. The event, which takes place in Abu Dhabi, features the Holloway and Kattar bout as its first event.

Holloway spent all of 2017 and 2018 as the Featherweight champ before losing the title to Dustin Poirier in 2019. Later that year, he beat Frankie Edgar to regain the strap. He wasn’t able to keep the title for long, as Alexander Volkanovski swooped in December of 2019 and is now the reigning champion of the division.

Holloway was granted a rematch in July of 2020 but lost to a very close and controversial decision. The decision was based on the understanding that if a challenger loses the rematch, a trilogy fight is off the table. However, a lot of people, including UFC President Dana White, said the judging was wrong and Holloway deserves a real chance.

But that day has yet to come and Holloway will have to take on some other top contenders first. The next one on the docket is Kattar.

Kattar’s stock has never been hired since he just defeated Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige in 2020. Sitting at six in the Featherweight rankings, Kattar has a huge opportunity in this fight.

With a win, he will surely shoot into the top five and potentially the top three. If he loses, he really doesn’t lose much. According to the rankings, he isn’t suspected to lose. So long as he doesn’t get pummeled, his stock could still rise with a close loss.

This is a highly anticipated bout for a couple of reasons, in part because it represents an end to the UFC’s break. This event will be kicking off a fresh slate of fights in a new year. Another factor is Holloway is a fan-favorite and Kattar is a rising star, so the main event is not going to be one to miss.

Another interesting twist to this event is it will be aired on ABC. This will be the first time ever that the network will air a live UFC event. This is also the first time in over two years that the UFC has been aired live on network TV.

Tune in on Jan. 16, at 2:00 p.m. CST., tune into ESPN+ or ABC to watch UFC Fight Island 7.

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