PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Methuen’s Calvin Kattar defeated Saul Almeida via unanimous decision in what many considered local main event at CES MMA’s “Real Pain” pay-per-view last night at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
The show was headlined by former six-time WWE champion Dave Bautista, who was making his MMA debut at heavyweight, but for local fight fans, Kattar vs. Almeida was the main attraction.
The fight took a different path than the Methuen product expected, but a change of game plan on the fly won Kattar his 13th career fight (13-2); Almeida dropped to a still impressive 12-3.
Almeida had a significant height and reach advantage.
“I’m proud of the way I was able to switch things up like that,” said Kattar. “Things changed. His range was a lot tougher to deal with than I imagined. It proved to be effective. I wasn’t expecting to have to adjust like that but I’m proud of the way I was able to use some different things, including my strength on the ground.”
After making the cut to 145 pounds for just the second time in his career, Kattar was diligent in the middle round to save energy.
“I was worried about continuing that strength until the end of the fight because it was becoming apparent that’s where we were going,” he said. “We were in it for the long haul.”
It’s been widely speculated that the winner of this fight could be in line for bigger things nationally.
“I think we definitely got some people’s attention taking the fight,” he said. “It’s only going to open up doors. I don’t think that either of our stock fell, though. It was just a well-matched fight. After a fight like that, we can both hold our head high.”
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