‘I love his style, we’ll put on a great show’ – Zabit on Kattar UFC Boston fight
Russian UFC featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov says he is not underestimating Calvin Kattar, after the American was confirmed as his next opponent at UFC Boston in October.
Magomedsharipov and Kattar will throw down at TD Garden as the Dagestani fighter, 28, aims to cement his status as a major featherweight title prospect. The man known as ‘Zabeast’ will take a 13-fight win streak into the bout, including a flawless 5-0 record in the UFC.
He defeated American Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision in his last bout at UFC 235 in March.Also on rt.com Zabeast is back: Rising Russian featherweight Magomedsharipov to face Calvin Kattar at UFC Boston
Nicknamed ‘The Boston Finisher,’ Kattar earned a big TKO win against Ricardo Lamas in his June Octagon outing, and will enjoy strong home backing against Magomedsharipov.
After the match-up with Kattar was confirmed, RT Sport contacted Magomedsharipov to get his take on his next opponent.
There was information about your possible fight at the next UFC event in Russia. Why didn’t this option come to fruition?
We didn’t receive an official offer to fight in Moscow. My managers told me that there were talks about it, and of course I wanted to perform in front of the Russian fans, but the UFC matchmakers made another decision. Possibly because Calvin Kattar is a Boston native and with this fight they want to attract the attention of local fans. Plus in Boston I will take part in the co-main event fight for the first time in my UFC career. So after it’s not a bad option after all.
Kattar is ranked lower than you, and you previously said that you want to move up in your division. Why did you accept this fight?
Either way, all the opponents who stand higher in the rankings already have their fights scheduled, and Calvin was the highest ranked opponent available. And I don’t want to wait, I’d even say that my break between fights is a bit too long. If you think about it, I fought Jeremy Stephens in March, and my next fight is going to be in October.
How do you rate Calvin as a fighter? He has three knockouts in his five UFC fights. That’s an impressive record, considering that we are talking about the featherweight division.
Yes, Calvin is a great opponent, he has a hard punch and it would be silly to underestimate him. I love his style, and I think we’ll put on a great show.
On September 7 another fighter from Russia, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is going to headline the UFC event in Abu Dhabi with many other fighters from Dagestan on the card. Do you plan to visit the event to support them?
If it wasn’t for my fight, I’d definitely be there. But I now I am definitely going to be in the States by that time. And such a long trip from New York to Abu Dhabi and back would definitely disrupt my preparations. So I will be rooting for my friends from a distance.
We know that you are currently training in Thailand, when do you plan to go to the States?
Me and my coach Mansur Uchekaev will go to the States beforehand, so we could work with my US coaches Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida. This is our standard routine during fight preparation. Plus as I’ve mentioned before, there are fewer distractions when I train in the States. So at the end of August I plan to fly to New York.