Calvin Kattar of Methuen took a step closer to a UFC featherweight title shot by defeating Dan Ige in a five-round unanimous decision in Wednesday night’s main event at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Kattar’s power punching appeared to wear out Ige, who at 5 feet 7 inches, yielded 4 inches to Kattar. Ige moved in and out and side to side quickly, a moving target Kattar had trouble locking in.
Until the fourth round.
Kattar landed a combination and took Ige to the canvas, then landed some big blows that took some of the steam and movement out of the slippery Ige.
“I just kept saying, I didn’t go through all this [expletive] to get here man, to go home with a L to take that whole long [expletive] ride home. We got the job done,” Kattar said.
Kattar took a hard left on the nose from Ige halfway through the second round and it bothered him most of the round.
After the fight, Kattar, who appeared as if he had his nose broke again, was undaunted. He was asked if he would seek a title bout with Alexander Volkanovski, who retained his featherweight title with a narrow split decision over No. 1 contender Max Holloway at UFC 251 on July 11.
The next four ranked contenders (two through five) ahead of Kattar have largely been invisible during the pandemic.
“Well if I did, it would be coming off of two wins, while these guys are sitting on the couch watching on TV having Twitter beefs with each other. I’m out here earning it,” Kattar said. “The champ says he wants contenders. I’m the only one that’s staying busy. He’s got a competitor in me, and I’m always ready to go.”
The sixth-ranked Kattar moved to 22-4. Ige, ranked 10th, is 14-3.
The UFC card was the second held outside of the United States since the pandemic.
Andrew Mahoney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
Jim Hoban can be reached at email@example.com