Elite featherweights Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar put on a memorable show for the UFC’s debut on ABC on Saturday. After a bloody five-round war, it was the former 145-pound champion who emerged with the win in what many deemed as the best performance of his career.
Kattar’s showing was equally laudable, having kept himself standing after absorbing all 445 of Holloway’s record-breaking 744 attempted significant strikes. But that also worried UFC president Dana White, who immediately approached “The Boston Finisher” as he was making his way to the back.
White later spoke to the media about that short conversation with Kattar and how he would’ve wanted the fight stopped in the fourth round.
“I’d gone over to his corner because I thought the fight should’ve been stopped in the fourth round. And I was freaking out a little bit,” White said during the post-event scrum. “I said, ‘he’s not gonna stop and talk to anybody, we’re gonna take him straight to the ambulance and send him to the hospital.’
“So then, I went over to him, and I said, ‘You’re so tough, what an unbelievable performance.’ And he said, ‘that’s not what I want to be known for.’ Then he goes, ‘but I’m not gonna back down to anybody.’
“Then I said, ‘We’re gonna send you straight to the hospital right now, I don’t want you talking to anybody or doing anything.’ And then he started laughing and thought that was funny.”
White was relieved about his interaction with Kattar but later admitted that the fight shook him up a bit.
“He was in good spirits, his head was clear, and our interaction made me feel better. And all’s good, I’m hearing everything’s good, so far.
“Those kinds of fights freak me out.”
Both Holloway and Kattar took home $50,000 bonuses for Fight of the Night honors.