After Jeremy Stephens showed up to the UFC 249 weigh-ins more than five pounds overweight, Calvin Kattar was not happy, and he dealt with it in the way any fighter would desire -- dropping and finishing Stephens in the second round of their featherweight clash inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday night.
Stephens (28-18) had clearly watched video of Kattar's UFC 223 loss to Renato Moicano, a fight where Kattar (21-4) couldn't manage to handle the leg kicks of his opponent. Stephens used the same attack early to disrupt the rhythm of Kattar. Kattar was not pushed off his strategy, however, and continued to use his very solid boxing combinations to connect clean to Stephens' chin several times in the opening round.
Kattar also began throwing his own leg kick attack going into the second round, and that opened more opportunities for his punches to land. That paid off in a huge way midway through Round 2 when Kattar stepped in with a right elbow to the chin of Stephens, dropping the veteran. Kattar followed him to the canvas and unloaded with a flurry of punches, including a left elbow that split open Stephens' forehead before the referee called a stop to the fight at the 2:42 mark of Round 2.
With the win, Kattar rebounded from a loss to Zabit Magomedsharipov in his previous bout while scoring his third knockout in his four most recent fights.
"Listen, man, I'm going to be honest, I was upset," Kattar said after his win. "He showed up five pounds overweight. I don't like that. But it's tough to exchange with someone like that and not show them respect."
Of note coming out of the loss, Stephens passed Diego Sanchez on the all-time list for most fight time in UFC history, spending more than six hours batting in the Octagon in his career.
"New England cartel is here to stay! Hopefully I climb up to that top five, I'd like a shot at an Ultimate Fighter or someone big," Kattar said. "I feel like I let one go with Zabit in Russia, I just feel like I ran out of time and I wasn't going to let that happen here. My coach told me to let it go and I felt like did that tonight. It was adding up out there, it takes me a couple of hits to get going out there, I wish that wasn't the case, but it is. Once I started finding my range, I capitalized on a big shot. I looked down, he was facing up and I finished the job."
For complete results, highlights and analysis of the action on Saturday night, be sure to visit the CBS Sports UFC 249 live blog.