Nick Catone's Heart Is Was Separates Him From The Rest

By Steven Smith
Nick Catone
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In a sport that is filled with so many circus acts, many of the UFC‘s fighters have built up quite the ego over the years. Just ask Tom “Kong” Watson. The diva-like entrance from the England native at UFC 169 spawned a nice laugh. After all, it’s kind of hard not to laugh at a guy who walks down to the cage in a gorilla mask with Meatloaf’s, “I’d Do Anything For Love” blaring through the speakers.

By the end of the fight however, people were no longer laughing with Watson. They were laughing at him. Why?  Because he was defeated by a guy with virtually one leg.

In a fight card that was arguably the worst in the UFC’s history, 10 of the 12 fights that took place went to a decision, a very disappointing night for avid MMA fans. It could have been Abel Trujillo‘s devastating knockout of Jamie Varner that people remembered most from the night. Perhaps it was Renan Barao‘s first-round destruction of Urijah Faber. For some however, it was the bout that included the fighter who had more will to win than any other man inside the cage that night — Nick Catone.

Englewood, New Jersey’s prized fighter suffered a torn ACL in the second round of last Saturday’s fight, one which he still managed to win. Without a grimace on his face or an ounce of pain being shown, Catone managed to win in the takedown department, 5-0. The most impressive part was the fact that he forced two of them in the same round he tore is ACL, and then managed to get two more the very next round. Catone also did a superb job in managing the fight, giving up only four seconds of control time to Watson.

It’s easy to slip by a guy like Catone. He’s only registered a 4-4 UFC record. Believe it or not though, he is ranked ninth in takedown accuracy in the middleweight division with 45 percent. That number may not seem staggering, but out of the top 10 ranked fighters in the middleweight division, only champion Chris Weidman possesses a better percentage (68 percent). His significant strike defense percentage is also better than all 15 ranked fighters in the division (65 percent).

While most of his youth is behind him, Catone shouldn’t necessarily be thrown into the category of aging fighters either. At 32-years-old, he still has time to make the most of his career. As long as he keeps fighting with everything he’s got, the sky’s the limit for Catone.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer and MMA Contributor for Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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