Brad Katona has “Made a career of beating undefeated guys,” like Brave CF 50’s Borislav Nikolic
Facing an undefeated opponent like Borislav Nikolic is nothing new for Brad Katona.
Katona won “The Ultimate Fighter” season 27, which featured an entire cast of undefeated fighters. The Canadian expects his experience to show against his 8-0 bantamweight counterpart at Brave CF 50 on Thursday, April 1.
“I’ve made a career of beating undefeated guys, I did that on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and I did that before the show as well,” Katona said.
“This is just another one to continue on my career of beating undefeated guys.”
Brad Katona on Borislav Nikolic: “I am by far the biggest step up in his career
Katona, a three-time UFC veteran, sees a difference in quality of opponents compared to Nikolic.
The 29-year-old’s only professional losses came inside the octagon to the now-No. 12 bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili and the rising Hunter Azure.
A three-time UFC veteran and the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” season 27, Katona considers himself more experienced than his unbeaten opponent. He holds TUF victories over Bryce Mitchell and Kyler Phillips, who are currently on win streaks under the UFC banner.
Nikolic is a proven finisher with all eight of his victories ending in the first two rounds. He most recently fought in November. He submitted Milan Stanojkociv, his most experienced opponent. Stanojkociv came into the fight at 2-3.
All seven of Nikolic’s other opponents came into the fight with him with three previous bouts or less. Katona has fought just once more than Nikolic, but has already fought at the highest level.
“He’s never fought the competition I’ve fought and he certainly never fought anybody quite like me,” Katona said. “I am by far the biggest step up in his career and it’s quite the jump when you talk about who he’s beaten and who I am.”
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On the mat
Nikolic is a submission specialist, tapping out six of his previous eight opponents. The Serbian fighter even won his last three-consecutive bouts by submission.
Katona respects the ground game of Nikolic, but has seen plenty of submission aces before. Katona has two professional submission wins to his name, but he also submitted Mitchell to earn a spot in the TUF 27 Finale.
“I fought Bryce Mitchell, one of the best submission guys in the UFC right now and I submitted him. That’s not anything to take away from Bryce, that just speaks to my own potential on the ground and in grappling exchanges,” Katona said. “I have to give him [Nikolic] credit because he hops on things. A lot of good submission guys, they don’t actually go for it.”
Katona is used to going the distance, hearing the final bell seven times throughout his professional career. His last four appearances, all in the octagon, went the distance.
With Nikolic yet to enter the third round, testing the Serbian for all three rounds is intriguing to Katona. After spending over a year and a half out of the cage, going all three rounds doesn’t seem so bad to him.
It could be quite the start for the first bout of his new multi-fight deal with Brave.
“There’s always something satisfying about watching someone drown in there,” Katona said “It would be nice to get in and get out, just like a hitman, get in, get done. But man, I’ve put in a lot of work that I’d like to showcase.”
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