‘Zabeast’ is Back in Boston at UFC on ESPN 6
Dagestani sensation Zabit Magomedsharipov will officially face New England’s own Calvin Kattar in a Featherweight Co-Main Event on October 18th at TD Garden in Boston.
There was much speculation that Zabit would be competing in Mexico City against fellow fan favorite Brian Ortega, but his booking with a surging Calvin Kattar will be equally intriguing in its own right. Zabit has steamrolled his way to an impressive 13 fight win streak including his 5-0 UFC record (17-1 overall) and has done so in an exceedingly entertaining fashion. He has been awarded multiple ‘Fight of the Night’ and individual performance bonuses, as well as 2018’s Submission of the Year for his Suloev Stretch against Brandon Davis. He has confirmed an ability to finish matches as well as a willingness to go deep into decisions that become wars, which Kattar is sure to provide.
Calvin Kattar is finding his form as of late with back to back first round knockouts in his last two fights. With his own ‘Fight of the Night’ Bonus for his third round knockout of Shane Burgos, the only real blemish on his UFC record is a decision loss to Renato Moicano. Kattar is coming into his own and his identity as a knockout artist is translating well to the UFC level, but Zabit will be a serious step up in competition for him and may prove to once again be too much too soon.
Zabit’s most recent victory came with a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens which finally provided a veteran name to his resume, but he’ll have to wait to land another big name and Top 5 opponent. Zabit is forced to look below himself in the rankings to stay active again, as recent prospect killer Jose Aldo is the only other one in the top 5 not currently booked. Although he certainly seems ready for a title contender bout, perhaps it could be better for Zabit to continue a slow burn with bookings against the Bochniaks and Kattars of the world. It might be UFC matchmakers learning from rushing past prospects like Derron Till to title shots, or it could merely be that timing and availability led to this booking, but no one benefits more than Calvin Kattar.
Working his way through almost exclusively PPV cards, ‘The Boston Finisher’ has KO’d his way into the rankings and his willingness to accept any fight has set himself up for success with a home field advantage. A rowdy home crowd in Boston could provide Kattar with the extra edge he needs to rally and potentially break his way into the Featherweight Top 5.
And the Boston crowd will surely be hyped as this card is already shaping up well with Chris Weidman making his 205lbs debut against (#6) Dominick Reyes for the Main Event. Another highlighted bout is the intriguing matchup between a heavy hitting Maycee Barber and submission specialist Gillian Robertson. Stay tuned for further announcements as this Boston card continues to come together.