In a highly competitive main event tonight at UFC On ESPN 37, Josh Emmett did just enough to edge out Calvin Kattar by split decision (48-47 x2, 47-48).
The main event is underway in Texas.
Emmett mobile on the outside as the fight begins. A minute goes by without either fighter landing as they show each other’s striking prowess a lot of respect.
Another 30 seconds goes by without a clean contact. Jab partially lands for Kattar. He misses a leg kick.
Right hand gets through for Emmett off a jab from Kattar. Kattar stumbles as he backs up close to the cage.
Nice one-two for Kattar. Front kick to the body for him now. Right hand gets through from Emmett.
Calf kick from Emmett. One-two from him comes off the guard. Kattar starting to find the mark with a couple of long jabs.
He pumps out the jab repeatedly and looks to follow up with a right hand, then Emmett attempts to fire back. Emmett has a cut to his left eye from those early jabs.
Right hand for Kattar. Now a leg kick. He goes for another jab and Emmett responds with forward pressure, landing a flurry of punches to the body. Now he’s thinking about a takedown as the round is drawing to a close, but nothing doing.
Right hand from Emmett. Kattar looking for the jab from range. Punches from Emmett coming off the guard of Kattar.
Leg kick for Kattar. Clean punches from Kattar and then body work from Emmett. left hand gets through for Emmett.
A couple of jabs land for Kattar. Stepping one-two from Kattar lands. Now he steps into an elbow. Emmett with a left hand.
Emmett wades forward with winging punches and partially got through with a right hand. He tees up a big overhand right that just glances the target.
Emmett’s cut from the first round is really bleeding heavily as this round progresses.
Emmett lands to the body and tries to land that right hand hammer over the top. Grazing right hand from Kattar now.
Emmett lands cleanly upstairs and works to the body too. Kattar trying to get that back now. He lands a nice knee.
Final seconds of the round and Emmett marauds forward throwing punches and an elbow.
Kattar right back to pumping out the jab. Emmett loads up on big right hands twice.
More jab work from Kattar. Emmett with the heavier punches and a couple do land. Right hand for him in close and one to the body for good measure.
Glancing right hook and another punch behind it from Kattar. Jab for Emmett as Kattar comes forward. Jab for Kattar, leg kick from Emmett.
Emmett loads up on a few one-two’s. Uppercut from Kattar. Now a jab. Glancing straight right from Kattar.
Front kick to the body from Kattar. Big strike from Emmett. One-two’s off the guard from him. Body punch from Kattar. Back to the jab. Emmett leaps forward with an elbow strike.
Jab continuing to land for Kattar. Body work and then a few upstairs from Emmett. He lands a big overhand.
Heavy body shot from Emmett and then a left hand. Kattar working an elbow strike. Another body punch from Emmett. Front kick to the body from Kattar. Right hand from Emmett and then a jab.
Both fighters feeling out with the jab to start the fourth. Wide power punches from Emmett just whistle past the target.
Kattar snaps the jab. Leg kick from Emmett. Solid one-two from Kattar. Inside leg kick from Emmett. Punch upstairs and one to the body from Kattar.
Glancing jabs from Kattar. A few more jabs get through. Emmett barrels forward throwing punches and briefly clinches, but they quickly go back to striking range.
Emmett with a jab. Solid right elbow from Kattar. Kick from him. Now back to the jab. A one-two lands. Body punches and then upstairs from Emmett. Kattar returns fire and a right hand counter from Emmett scores.
Right hand from Kattar. Knee strike from Kattar and then straight into a spinning elbow that seems to land, but Emmett takes it well.
Big elbow from Kattar and Emmett spins away looking a bit rocked and it’s cut him again to his already damaged left eye.
Snapping jab from Kattar. He lands it again. Misses with an elbow and Emmett comes forward very aggressively with big rapid-fire punches, though not too much gets through cleanly.
Jab from Kattar. Grazing jab from Emmett. Jab snaps home for Kattar. A couple of counter punches land from Emmett now.
Right hand and a hook from Emmett. Right hand for Kattar. Front kick to the body from kattar. Leg kick from Emmett.
Short left hook for Kattar. Right hand gets through for him. Kattar sticks out the jab and tries for an uppercut, but it misses and Emmett lands on the counter.
Stepping elbow for Kattar. Now a jab. High body kick from Emmett. Jab still landing for Kattar. Now a front kick to the body. Right hand over the top from Emmett.
Right hand from Kattar and Emmett lands too. Front kick to the body again for Kattar.
Emmett pressing forward with purpose and Kattar works behind the jab. Nice right hand counter from Kattar. He lands the jab.
Final 10 seconds and Emmett lands a right hand. Now a knee attempt from Emmett. Both throw a spinning backfist one after the other, but they avoid being hit by thhem and we’re heading to the scorecards after that very competitive five-rounder.
So Kattar was a bit more consistent and cleaner with his frequent jabs and bloodied up his opponent from an early stage in the fight, but Emmett was landing the bigger punches throughout, leaving the judges with a tough decision.
That’s reflected in a split decision verdict, and in the end it’s Emmett who emerges with his hand raised (48-47 x2, 47-48).