SALEM – It took every last ounce of energy in his body, but Methuen’s Calvin Kattar picked up his sixth straight win inside the Octagon Friday night, defeating previously unbeaten Brazilian Gabriel Baino (5-1) by unanimous decision in the main event of Combat Zone 44 at Rockingham Park; Kattar improved his professional record to a sparkling 14-2.
Kattar expelled a lot of energy in the first round, chasing Baino around the cage landing some big right hands that stumbled the Brazilian fighter, sending him backwards into the cage twice and later knocking him to the mat, cutting his right eye in the process.
“I had him, I was sure of it,” Kattar said. “Give him credit for being resilient, because I thought I had him there. I went after it because I thought I could finish it there but he just kept coming back. No matter what I did, he kept coming back. Give him credit, that was incredible to be that resilient.”
Baino settled things in the second round, slowing Kattar with leg kicks, but Kattar still mounted plenty of offense, slightly injuring his hand, he said after the fight.
In the third round, Baino attempted to submit Kattar with a kimura – an arm lock that corks the elbow behind your opponent’s back, putting significant pressure on the shoulder and elbow joints — but Kattar kept his hand tight to his left leg, preventing Baino from every locking it deep enough and getting his arm behind his back.
After the referee made the fighters stand back up, Kattar was able to land more lefts and rights as Baino now had cuts on both eyes, and his vision appeared to be impaired.
“They’re all tough, but (this was my toughest fight). He fought hard. He’s a tough kid,” said Kattar, who extended his consecutive win streak to six and remained undefeated in all nine of his Combat Zone bouts. “I hurt my hand in the second round and was a little worried about it, but I gave it to him the best I could. I was just happy to get the ‘W’”.