- Top-15 featherweights Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar headline UFC Fight Night 163
- Can Magomedsharipov get the win and lock himself into a featherweight title fight?
- Calvin Kattar is a sizable underdog on the moneyline
On Saturday (Nov. 9), the UFC heads to Russia for UFC Fight Night 163. The event marks the second time the UFC has visited Moscow. The main event on the card, which streams entirely on UFC on ESPN+, features a matchup between Zabit Magomedsharipov, who is the No. 5-ranked fighter in the official UFC featherweight rankings, and the No. 11-ranked Calvin Kattar.
The prelims for the event begin at 11 a.m. ET followed by the main card at 2 p.m. ET.
MAGOMEDSHARIPOV VS KATTAR ODDS
|Fighter||Odds (as of Nov. 5)|
Magomedsharipov came to the UFC in 2017. At the time, he was on an eight-fight winning streak and coming off a defense of the ACB featherweight title. Since joining the UFC, Magomedsharipov has added five wins, with three of those victories coming by way of submission. The 28-year-old has not lost a fight since 2013. Magomedsharipov has quickly risen through the ranks of a fairly competitive division. In March, he defeated UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens by decision.
Kattar also joined the UFC in 2017. His record with the promotion is 4-1, with his only loss being a decision to Renato Moicano in April 2018. Three of Kattar’s victories have come by way of knockout. The 31-year-old finished his two most recent fights in the first round. Those KO victories came against Chris Fishgold and former featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas.
It would be easy to describe Magomedsharipov as a well-rounded fighter, but that does not do him justice. He has been hailed as a potential champion since before he joined the UFC. In 2017, his coach, Mark Henry, told FOX Sports, “He’s not a top 10 guy, he’s a top-five guy. He could be champ today. I’ve seen a natural in baseball, football, boxing, but never MMA. Just too many disciplines. He’s the first natural MMA fighter I’ve ever seen. He can do it all. He has all the other intangibles, too. Heart, toughness, gas, chin, mean streak, work ethic, sparring partner, size.”
He’s not a top 10 guy, he’s a top-five guy. He could be champ today. I’ve seen a natural in baseball, football, boxing, but never MMA. Just too many disciplines. He’s the first natural MMA fighter I’ve ever seen. He can do it all.
Not only is Magomedsharipov good in every area of the fight game, but he’s also a risk-taker, which makes him even more dangerous and unpredictable. He’s not afraid to attempt spinning techniques or awkward submissions. He seems to enjoy making his opponents uncomfortable inside the cage.
Zabit with one of the best submissions I’ve ever seen. Flawless kneebar. Insanity. #UFC228
— The Champion Picks (@ChampionPicks) September 9, 2018
Katter’s nickname is “The Boston Finisher,” so that should give you a good idea about his style. Kattar has excellent boxing skills. He’s used his striking to end nine fights. Seven of those knockouts have come in the first round. Outside of his boxing Kattar is not a bad fighter, but he relies on his punching more than any other technique.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|Zabit Magomedsharipov||Category||Calvin Kattar|
|4.53||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.06|
|2.44||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||6.35|
|6.23||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.61|
|0.96||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.00|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The timing of this fight works out well for Magomedsharipov, that is if he wins. UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway defends his title on Dec. 14 against the No. 1 ranked Alexander Volkanovski. Holloway is the favorite in that contest. If Holloway and Magomedsharipov both win, there is an excellent chance that Magomedsharipov could secure the next featherweight title shot.
LEFT! RIGHT! OUT!@CalvinKattar enjoy your moment! #UFC238 pic.twitter.com/4lovgsLr2s
— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2019
Kattar is too far down the rankings right now to wrap up a title fight with a win, but an upset victory in Moscow would raise his profile and ranking enough that a matchup against a top-five opponent would not be out of the question.
If Kattar can control the distance and range via his jab, avoid the takedowns and low kicks of Magomedsharipov and not get caught by a spinning technique or wrapped up in a submission, he has a chance to win. The shorter version of that is Magomedsharipov is too well rounded not to win this fight. Kattar does have a chance if he can find an opening if Magomedsharipov gets a little too aggressive, which is a possibility, but that is a longshot.
Prediction: Magomedsharipov (-275)