Calvin Kattar accepts Zabit Magomedsharipov loss, curious how 5-rounder would’ve went

Calvin Kattar left the octagon following his loss to Zabit Magomedsharipov wondering the same question as many fans: What if there were two more rounds?

Kattar (20-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) dropped a unanimous decision to Magomedsharipov (18-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in Saturday’s featherweight headliner at UFC on ESPN+ 21, which took place at CSKA Arena in Moscow. Unlike most main events, the fight was only three rounds due to the fact it was promoted from the co-main event slot after the original headliner of Alexander Volkov vs. Junior Dos Santo fell apart on short notice.

The bout between Kattar and Magomedsharipov was competitive over 15 minutes and earned “Fight of the Night” honors, but Kattar felt he was coming on strong down the stretch. He said he accepts the outcome, but was naturally left with some curiosity in mind.

“I’d like to see what would’ve happened with five rounds,” Kattar said during the UFC on ESPN+ 21 post-fight news conference. “But the fight was three and hat’s off to him for fighting a good three-round fight.”

Kattar was originally scheduled to fight Magomedsharipov at UFC on ESPN 6 in his backyard of Boston in October. A minor injury to the Russian postponed the matchup, and the rescheduled bout landed in Magomedsharipov’s home country.

Despite how the entire lead-up to the contest unfolded, Kattar made no excuses. His main concern was on his performance, which wasn’t up to par to get the win, he said.

“I knew it was going to be a close fight,” Kattar said. “First round was close, the second round he edged it, the third round I edged. So it could’ve been a toss-up. I think I got a little late start and finished strong.”

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