During his fight with Max Holloway, UFC president Dana White wasn’t only worried about the well-being of Calvin Kattar. He had feared for the life of Kattar.
This is not an overstatement.
On January 16, Kattar beat his headliner against Holloway during UFC on ABC 1, absorbing a single-fight record of 445 big strikes, smashing the previous mark of 290. But Kattar made it to the final horn and, after five rounds, lost his unanimous decision.
A bloodied Kattar found himself in a particularly dangerous position in Round 4, as Holloway poured it on and went to the end. This is where things for White took a serious turn, from celebrating the performance of Holloway to dire concern for Kattar.
White, who was cageside with Matt Serra and Din Thomas, wanted the fight stopped in the fourth round, as seen during the UFC-produced ‘UFC’s Grand New Stage’ video on YouTube. White walked over to UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell when referee Herb Dean let it proceed, and said he was worried that Kattar was dying.
“He took so much (expletive) punishment in this fight, I’m freaking out a little bit, man. I don’t like it,” White said. “This reminds me of the kind of fight where the fight’s over, and he walks on back and (expletive) dies. I think that (expletive) Herb Dean should’ve stopped it in the fourth round. He was wobbling all over the (expletive) place.”
White continued on with Campbell, “When this fight’s over, no stopping, no talking. Get this kid in an ambulance and get him the (expletive) out of here immediately.”
As he watched the fifth, White said “this (expletive) round can’t end fast enough for me.”
White confronted Kattar’s cornermen after the war ended, reiterating what he told Campbell that he needed Kattar to run to the hospital.
Kattar’s New England Cartel boss and head coach, Tyson Chartier, told MMA Junkie that his fighter suffered a broken nose and needed eight staples in his scalp as well. As a consequence of the war, Kattar received a six-month medical suspension.