The top of the UFC Austin billing was basically a boxing bout with little gloves, and a couple of elbows mixed in, that saw the promotion’s #7 rated featherweight, Josh Emmett, edge out a split decision over the #4 rated, Calvin Kattar. Solid strikes were landed on both sides, but when the dust had settled, two of the three judges had scored it 48-47 for Emmett. In his post-fight interview, Josh called for a title shot against the winner of the trilogy between the champion, Alexander Volkanovski, and the former champ, Max Holloway.
This bout started out with a bunch of measuring and feeling out. Emmett was the first to flurry, but Kattar was able to skirt out of the way and avoid the power. Kattar then began to pump his jab out there, looking to maximize his reach advantage. A small cut opened up on the left eyebrow of Emmett, but it didn’t seem to be affecting his vision at all. Emmett then exploded into the pocket where he was able to land a few shots just before the bell.
Kattar went back to working his jab at the start of the second act, and Emmett met him with a big right hand. That jab of Kattar kept landing where Emmett was cut, which caused the cut to leak a little more. Emmett was throwing to the body, and then would come over the top with his power. Kattar was being elusive, but a few of them were getting through. Josh kept working the body, and Kattar responded with some knees to the body in response.
Emmett had a strong start to the third round. He was opening up more with his punches, visibly moving Kattar when he connected. Kattar started to show elbow strikes into his attacks, which actually prompted Emmett to throw his own bows. The body work of Emmett was still present, while Kattar was mostly head hunting. This was a solid round for Josh.
Kattar stayed with his jab to start the fourth frame, and he was finding success when he was moving forward. Emmett continued to sneak in his body shots, and kept coming over the top. Kattar uncorked a gorgeous spinning elbow that landed clean as day, followed by a stiff right hand that wobbled Josh. Some swelling started to occur under the left eye of Emmett, but he did flurry at the end of the round to make it close.
Kattar kept throwing his long punches in the final round, trying to keep Emmett on the outside and making him pay for being there. Emmett would find entries into the pocket to land his heat, but wasn’t able to stay within that range for very long. He did mix in one head kick that was blocked, in what was predominantly a boxing match with elbows. Emmett quit attacking the body, but he was the one pressing the action as the round came to a close.