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.”