Four months later, Kattar is not only feeling like he’s recovered from that loss, he’s ready to step in there with Holloway again.
“I’m ready for round six, I feel great,” Kattar said on What the Heck. “Like I said, credit to him, he fought great, but I’m hungry to get back and when I don’t achieve my goal the first time, I just come back hungrier. I’m ready to go.”
“Max is tough as they come,” he continued. “He’s on that upper echelon and when you come to that top-3, you’ve gotta be ready. I’ve just got to pick things up. He did a couple of things real well, things that I’ll take from here and improve on and come back. I know I have a tough test ahead of me, whoever’s next, and that’s exactly what I want.”
Kattar doesn’t feel like his own stock was hurt too badly, though he’s not overly concerned with outside perception of his value anyway.
“I mean, really, I just hold myself accountable to my own expectations,” Kattar said. “I feel like I should beat a guy like Max and anybody in the world on any given night. Just that night it was Max Holloway’s and credit to him.”
In regards to the criticism that his corner faced for not throwing in the towel—specifically before the fifth round when it was clear Kattar was facing an insurmountable deficit on the scorecards—Kattar thinks his team was in a no-win situation.
“Tyson gets a lot of slack no matter what he does,” Kattar said. “He could have thrown in the towel, he would have got a lot of slack from me. If he didn’t, he’s getting a lot of slack from everybody else. Just through the fourth and fifth rounds, it’s not what I took from it, aside from the things I did I think a lot of people just realized kind of the things that I’m talking about. I’m not gonna take a knee for anybody, how bad I want it. I know how tough I am. Now I think everyone else was able to see that as well and I hope I don’t have to show them again anytime in the near future. Hopefully, I put another guy in that position.
“Like I said, the bonus isn’t the thing you’re really chasing in there. It’s trying to get out and be healthy, so that’s my goal in the next one while putting on a great performance for the fans.”
If anything, the toughest part of recovery for Kattar was being told that he had to slow down and take his time before getting back in the gym. He’s chomping at the bit to return, especially with the featherweight division chugging along in his absence.
“I don’t want to slow roll everything,” Kattar said. “How I feel, I’m ready to go. But when you feel good to go, you should probably give it a little more time, is what they usually say. You’ve got cautious Tyson over there. So whenever he says we’re good to go, we’re good to go.”