On any other card, Calvin Kattar vs. Saul Almeida is the main event.
This Saturday in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the Methuen-born Kattar — he now resides in Andover — will take on Almeida as part of CES “Real Pain” which features former WWE champion Dave Bautista making his heavyweight debut in the main event.
The show will be broadcast worldwide on pay-per-view through Direct TV.
This is unquestionably one of the biggest fights of the year. Kattar and Almeida, who is from Framingham, are ranked 11th and fifth in the world respectively among “unsigned” fighters by ULTMMA. But, the winner will put himself in prime position to be picked up by a major promotion.
“Fights like this don’t come around often,” Kattar said. “I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
Along with Bautista, there are four former UFC fighters on the card.
Kattar and Almeida boast identical 12-2 records, though they often take different means to an end. Kattar has knocked out six of his 12 wins and he’s submitted three others. Almeida has gone the distance in 10 of his 12 wins.
Almeida uses his long, lanky frame to score points from a distance, often fooling other fighters with his quickness. Kattar earned the monicker “The Boston Finisher” for making quick work of his early opponents with his deadly striking.
“He’s a little unpredictable,” Kattar said. “Long, definitely rangy – he likes to impose his will, and I generally like to do the same, so it’ll be an interesting fight.”
Added Almeida, “He likes to trade a little more and push the pace. It’ll be interesting to see who can impose their will. This is the fight that’s supposed to happen. Everyone wants to see it. I want to fight the best and I feel as though he and I are right up there, so it’s a big fight for both of us.”
Other than the styles, the difference between these two fighters is paper thin.
Almeida and Kattar share three common opponents — Cody Stevens, Jeff Anderson and Kevin Roddy — and both fighters have won all three.
This will be Kattar’s second fight in a row at featherweight (145 pounds) after making his debut in the division last October. Almeida has also never lost at 145.
“He was never someone I was gunning for,” Almeida said, “but once he dropped down to featherweight, I knew it’d be a possibility. I really see the winner moving on [to something bigger].”
How and where to watch
Tickets are available at www.cesmma.com or www.ticketmaster.com and are priced at $20.00, $35.00, $55.00, $75.00, $125.00 and $250.00. The show will also air live on Direct TV Pay Per View for $29.95 ($39.95 in high definition) — available starting this week — beginning at 8 p.m., or through Livestream via www.bautistamma.com in high definition.
New opponent for Bautista
Dave Bautista has a new opponent for his MMA debut in the main event.
Originally slated to fight Rashid Evans, the former six-time WWE champ will now fight Vince Lucero, a veteran of 42 MMA fights.
Evans violated parole, according to a report, and will not be available for the fight.
Lucero, 40, has an impressive resume, including fights with former UFC UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia as well as UFC contenders Justin Eilers, Homer Moore and Christian Wellisch.
CES “Real Pain”
Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence
Heavyweight: Dave Bautista (0-0) vs. Vince Lucero (22-22)
Middleweight: Chris McNally (5-4) vs. Dave Loiseau (20-10)
Welterweight: Luis Felix (7-6) vs. Marc Stevens (14-7)
Middleweight: John Howard (17-7) vs. Brett Chism (16-11
Welterweight: Chad Reiner (29-13) vs. Keith Jeffrey (8-2)
Middleweight: Todd Chattelle (10-7) vs. Chandler Holderness (9-3)
Light Heavyweight: Greg Rebello (13-4) vs. Chris Guillen (13-12)
Lightweight: Mike Campbell (11-4) vs. Gemiyale Adkins (7-3)
Heavyweight: Josh Diekmann (12-4) vs. Tyler King (4-1)
Middleweight: Brennan Ward (3-0) vs. Shedrick Goodridge (2-2)
Welterweight: Nate Andrews (1-0) vs. Leon Davis (2-0)
Bantamweight: Rob Costa (2-0) vs. Andrew Soukhamthath (2-1)
Welterweight: Tyson Chartier (3-2) vs. Kevin Horowitz (4-4)