Earlier tonight (Sat. January 16th, 2021) UFC Fight Island 7 took place from a partially filled Etihad Arena in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
The arena played host to an integral matchup in the UFC Featherweight division between the former champion Max Holloway and rising contender Calvin Kattar. After losing a successful bid to reclaim his title in June of 2020, Holloway looked towards the upcoming contender Kattar to get himself back in the win column and set himself in place for another title fight. This fight proved to be the perfect way to start 2021 delivering a five-round striking clinic hosted by the former champion. In the co-main, two UFC veterans faced off in the Welterweight division. The former interim champion Carlos Condit took on Matt Brown in an excellent three-round war that saw Condit take the decision to claim victory. Outside of these two bouts, the first event of the year proved to be phenomenal with the main card delivering stellar performances and many finishes warranting bonuses.
The First Performance of the Night bonus of the night went to Alessio Di Chirico for his stellar knockout of Joaquin Buckley. The highly-touted prospect was predicted to add yet another highlight-reel finish to his record when taking on Di Chirico, however, it was Buckley who wound up on the end of someone else’s highlight reel knockout. Di Chirico landed a head kick in the middle of the first round and closed the show.
The next Performance of the Night bonus came in the following fight when Li Jinliang pulled off an upset when welcoming back the streaking Welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio. After a long feeling out process Jinliang was able to find a show that would ultimately close the show and break the winning streak Ponzinibbio had complied before his extended layoff from the sport.
The final bonus, Fight of the Night came in the five-round main event between Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar. This fight showcased how technically sound Holloway is and also just how durable Kattar can be. From the first round, Holloway displayed an extremely high pace and volume landing the most strikes in a UFC fight ever. While Kattar was on the other end of the onslaught, the top-ranking featherweight did have some big shots of his own. These, however, were few and far between. Overall Holloway dominated the fight and won on the judge’s scorecards to put himself back in the win column and as close as possible to the next title shot.