UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar says making the ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Night for his UFC 238 knockout win was “cool as sh-t.”

Calvin Kattar woke up Sunday morning and was thrilled. He had made ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Night.


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Kattar knocked out former title challenger Ricardo Lamas in the first round of their featherweight bout at UFC 238 on Saturday in Chicago. It was the biggest win of Kattar’s 20-3 professional career, adding him to a short list of top contenders in the weight class.

His devastating stoppage was featured on SportsCenter, coming in at No. 5.

“It was cool as sh-t,” Kattar told Bloody Elbow. “I was dying. They got me on the intro I think, too. It was pretty awesome. Everyone was pumped.”

Kattar said not only is it cool seeing himself on SportsCenter, but it could also be pretty important for his career. A lot more people ended up seeing his highlight-reel knockout because of the SportsCenter spot. More exposure could lead to more opportunities, he said.

Kattar vs. Lamas opened up the preliminary card, which aired on ESPN. So as is, Kattar was already on a big platform.

“A lot of a good takeaways from the fight as far as that specifically,” Kattar said. “When we try to watch fights in our area, asking [restaurants or bars] to put them on, they can never put them on. But now that it’s on ESPN, it’s on all the TVs in all the bars anyway, just by default. There’s more people now watching it.”

After the win, Kattar thought he had done enough for a post-fight bonus. Unfortunately for him, both Performance of the Night awards went to Henry Cejudo and Valentina Shevchenko, who scored finishes in the main and co-main event of the card, respectively.

Kattar said being on SportsCenter almost makes up for not getting the extra $50,000 he felt he deserved, but not quite. And that’s not to take away from Cejudo and Shevchenko’s wins, he said; both had impressive performances.

“It was almost the bonus that I didn’t get,” Kattar said of making SportsCenter. ... “Sucks it was the last three (fights), though. They went three for three. Just my luck.”

Kattar said he was still satisfied with his win even without the bonus, because after all, the actual performance couldn’t have been much better.

“We can’t do much more than that,” Kattar said. “If I do that every time and I don’t get the bonus, I’ll still be happy with those performances. I was happy with the win and getting into the top 10 was pretty cool. A bonus would’ve made it better, but I’m still happy with how things played out. I’m excited to fight hopefully another top 10 and climb a little bit closer to that ultimate goal (of winning the title).”