Calvin Kattar says his UFC on ABC main event match with Max Holloway is more than just a fight ... a win represents a better life -- more money, more opportunities.
TMZ Sports talked to the 32-year-old fighter before his Fight Island fight this weekend with the former featherweight champ ... and Kattar says only everything is on the line.
"I ain't got s*** to say to Max! I'm just going out looking to earn my respect and just get me a title shot, ya know? Change my life."
"I'm chasing the life on the other side of a win over Max Holloway. Things get better off wins, you get double the money, you get more opportunities and like I said, I'm just chasing the life off a win over Max Holloway."
Kattar -- the #6 ranked featherweight -- is 22-4 ... and coming off wins over Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige.
Calvin's been super impressive ... but things don't get any easier on Fight Island ... 'cause Holloway is arguably the greatest 145 lb.'er of all-time.
As for blessed, he's looking to claw his way back to the top of the UFC mountain after 2 controversial losses to Alex Volkanovski ... and that's exactly what he tells us he'll do.
"Belt or no belt, I'm gonna always carry myself as a champion. The belt doesn't define me. I got 5 titles at home. The 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, all the way to 13, 20, whatever you wanna call it, I'm gonna get it. It's just in due time," Max tells us.
"I just gotta keep doing my job, and doing my part, and everything else will fall in place."