MMA Labology Breakdown: Kattar vs. Emmett


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Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett

This fight is a very sneaky good main event. Both men have aces in their pockets that are extremely alpha in their chosen category. Staying the course for both men is extremely important here. The path for both men is to make the other stray from their ace and fall into a poker hand that allows the other to force them to go all in on a chance in the other’s waters.

The thing that makes me laugh here is how the many of the less educated MMA community feel and will voice how “boxers” really aren’t effective in MMA. It is either because they just hate boxing, are extremely uneducated on what it entails or just are extremely one dimensional. However, let’s look at something quickly before we dive in. Let us look at the who is currently dominating the UFC, shall we? See the list of champions below and bring this up to whoever utters those words again. See what they say then.

  • Heavyweight champion: Francis (striker)
  • Light heavyweight: Jiri (striker)
  • Middleweight: Israel Adesanya (striker)
  • Welterweight Usman (striker/wrestler but wins most of his fights off his striking)
  • Featherweight: Volk (striker/wrestler but wins most of his fights striking)
  • Bantamweight: Aljo (grappler dominant)
  • Flyweight: Figgy (grappler/striker but wins most by striking)
  • Women’s featherweight: Nunes (much more of a striker than grappler)
  • Women’s bantamweight: Pena (grappler)
  • Women’s flyweight: (striker, but does have good grappling)
  • Women’s strawweight: Esparza (wrestler)

It’s pretty interesting how striking is dominating the belts, but people will say that boxing and strikers are the lesser evil among the uneducated masses. I will say that you need serviceable takedown defense and the ability to get back on your feet, but strikers hold the ace, and the proof is in the pudding until further notice.


Kattar Breakdown

I bring this up because Calvin Kattar is an extremely clean boxer with polished skills and a grasp of boxing that many people in the UFC just doesn’t have. You won’t find Kattar looking to ground thighs and tussle on the ground. It is not his ace, and his success greatly comes in the path of losing his opposition in translation with his striking. By ratio of thrown-to-absorbed strikes, he is eating two more than he is throwing, but that is extremely inflated due to his fight with Holloway where he absorbed 445 strikes. That’s a perfect example of how numbers don’t always tell the tale, so don’t get sucked into the numbers thing here.

With an overall record of 23-5, Kattar has 11 KOs and 10 decisions. In his five losses, he has only been submitted one time. On top of a very good striking prowess, Kattar is also extremely durable, but is it enough durability to catch a crack from a power machine like Josh Emmett?

Emmett Breakdown

Emmett is one of the more powerful one-punch sleepers in MMA. The power he generates is hard to believe that anyone can take more than a few very clean shots from him without at least being put on skates. The genetic makeup of Emmett is just so compact and made to generate ungodly pop in his shots — no matter how durable that you think you are, if he connects, the human body isn’t made to absorb that type of impact. I am not sitting here comparing his shots to guys like Francis, because the weight disparity is far different, but pound for pound, Emmett is a power machine and generates some of the top power in MMA.

With an overall record of 17-2, you will be shocked after all that I stated above, he only has 6 KOs. That said, three of them came within a four-fight span under the UFC umbrella. I think Emmett discovered his power later on in his career as he grew into it. It is more organic now and raw, which makes him a legitimate threat whenever he lands clean. He also carries that power late into fights, which is very tough to do, unless your conditioning is on point.


Fight Analysis

So all in all, Kattar could be running circles around him with cleaner technique, but one shot could literally end it all. However, Kattar is a little smarter than that. Where I see this getting a little dicey for Kattar is if Emmett decides to implore some wrestling into the mix. Even though Emmett doesn’t use it often, it is an option that he may entertain and that can be something interesting to see if he has success or if he can freeze Kattar from just letting his hands go in fear of the takedown.

That said, I don’t see it going that way. I think they stand and trade for the majority of this fight, and like I always tell you, always take the technician over the puncher. While Kattar just needs to pick his spots and score with movement and volume, Emmett will be looking for the kill shot because he cannot outbox Kattar.

That is where this fight will be won and lost. Will Kattar fight clean? If he does, he wins this fight. However, if he gets sloppy and gets caught, then no matter what the cards look like, Emmett can be the great eraser and make it all vanish.

I am of the mindset that the percentages will still lay in the favor of the technician here and although the power of Emmett is real, it’s not like he is just going to touch Kattar and he is going to fold. He is far more durable than that and far too skilled in slipping punches to points where the full impact will most likely not catch full torque. I have to go with Kattar here in this spot. I think he can finish this one inside the horn as well. 

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The Pick

Kattar by way of late stoppage


Kattar as a parlay piece at best — the line is bloated

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