During UFC on ABC 1 media day Wednesday, UFC featherweight Calvin Kattar discussed what it was like training with the Diaz brothers early on in his career.
Prior to an Elite XC fight in 2008, Kattar, 3-0 at the time, spent the last two weeks of his training camp with the Diaz brothers in Stockton, California, to prepare for this fight.
Despite losing that fight in the first round by submission, Kattar believes that his time spent with the Diaz brothers has ultimately helped his career in the long run.
“It blew my mind,” Kattar said. “I went out there training morning to night. I was sleeping on Caesar Gracie’s living room floor, and when he’d tell me to get up and go to work, we got up and we didn’t get back till like early morning, like 3 a.m.”
I remember we got into Nate’s gym at like 12:30-1:00 a.m., he was throwing on his jeans and he just finished up training which was late as it was, but Caesar said he had me coming in and was like, ‘You wanna give this kid some work?’ He’s like, ‘Shit, alright.’ So he just goes, takes off his jeans, throws his shit back on, you know, just a gangster man. Wanting the work, you know, and that’s what it’s like out there these guys just got in the work 24/7. The gym was open all day for the fighters, and the gym I was at, at the time was only open from six to eight p.m.,” adding, “It definitely set the tone for the way I train moving forward from that day.”
Kattar, who was 19 at the time, revealed how one sparring session went against Nate Diaz.
“I was like 19,” Kattar said. “I think I sparred with Nate one time when I was out there in that gym. I did a round with him. I envisioned giving him a right to the body the whole time. I went out, first shot hit him right to the body, and I felt good about it, and then I was like oh shit. Yeah, it was a long round but those guys are the real deal. It was a good wake up call.”
Kattar, 32, is heading into the biggest fight of his career this Saturday against former UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway (21-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC). The two will be headlining the first ever UFC card televised on ABC in a five round main event.
Tune in to ESPN+ or ABC to watch all the fights starting at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.