Post-Battle Breakdown: Calicoe vs. Pat Stay

Jackson Yates weighs in on the controversial main event from KOTD's "MASSacre."

If you long for more battles where aggression and antagonism rule, you’re in luck. This battle is tense as hell and nearly devolves to violence at more than one point. Taking place at KOTD’s "MASSacre" event in Holyoke, the promo battle pits Detroit staple Calicoe in his league debut against reigning champion Pat Stay, making his American premiere.

Before the battle even started, Cal made sure that the first words out of his mouth were to indicate that he would fade Pat for any racial content, no questions asked. It was 100% a threat, going hand in hand with Cal’s irreverent demeanor in the ring, but Pat didn’t seem particularly intimidated at this point. If nothing else, Cal seemed absolutely comfortable waiting in the pit, unwilling to make even the slightest attitude adjustment for his first KOTD outing. That was probably a wise move, as Cal has become more and more successful since his battle against Loaded Lux, capitalizing on his aggression to clearly beat Tsu Surf and Hitman Holla.

Cal elected to go first, and that decision is a bit puzzling in retrospect. Frankly, his first round is a bit of a snoozefest with surprisingly little aggression and only a couple standout lines amongst mediocre bars (an “out of this world/Mars” bar? Really?). Pat seems thoroughly unimpressed and assures everyone that it’s “not enough.” He turns out to be correct, at least for the first round. Cal’s overall approach seems quite strategic, but having a fire opening verse was evidently not part of the plan.


Pat’s first is his strongest round (and arguably the best of the battle), and it essentially wipes the floor with Cal’s. He makes up for Cal’s thus-far deficient aggression, staring him in the face as he powers through multi-laden descriptions of violence and a merciless character deconstruction: “If you was a real dude, you wouldn’t have to act so tough. If you was in the trap so much, you wouldn’t open up your trap so much.” The crowd loves every second of it, and they frequently erupt with considerably more enthusiasm than they showed Cal in the first. Cal interrupts a couple of times, but he mostly keeps his cool and shrugs it off, and it’s nothing compared to what’s to come.

Evidently sensing the urgency in either winning this round or losing the battle, Cal delivers a top-notch second. Although he starts shakily and still isn’t able to get the crowd to explode as naturally as it did with Pat, he still nets some fairly massive reactions. He hugely steps up his aggression, spitting (literally, probably) mere centimeters from Pat’s grill, and lands a few haymaker punches: (referring to his gang-affiliated father) “Boston, he kept his mouth shut … I call him Mr. Bean!” This round is exponentially better than his first in all categories, and it makes it clear that beating him was never going to be a walk in the park.


Had Pat’s opponent been polite, the battle could possibly have been over, 2-0 after this round. But did you really expect that of Calicoe? Cal gets much pushier in this round as Pat raps, talking over him, leaning into him, and even grabbing his wrist at one point. Although the results aren’t disastrous for Pat, the aggression throws him way, way off and causes him to stutter and flub a couple of lines. Regardless of whether you think he was "shook" or not, it’s hard to deny that he was effected somehow. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise though, considering that Pat’s never really been pressed in a battle and has dwarfed most of his last several opponents in size. Pat acknowledges the sloppiness and feigns tranquility to say “1-1?” going into the third.

The third is close. The winner comes down to who took this round, and there’s plenty going on to distract you from deciding. Things really go off the rails when Cal nearly knocks Pat’s hat off to accentuate a bar, causing Pat's brother and company to step forward. With both emcees telling their entourages to stay out of it, things settle down relatively quickly, only for them to escalate again as Cal directs a bar toward Pat’s brother. As Pat’s apparent discomfort and Cal’s belligerence augmented, everyone in the building became increasingly concerned about the outbreak of violence as the third went on.

Now, a word about Cal’s behavior. To some, his conduct will be shocking, but remember who he's facing. Pat is the same guy who gave Jimmy Pistol a wet willy and literally lifted Nils /M Skils off the ground, both mid-battle. After this battle, it seems that that behavior was reserved for the timid. Also, Cal reminded the crowd early on how Pat had treated Marv Won when they battled. For those who don’t know, Pat disrespected Marv’s autistic brother on KOTD, and ultimately lost that (judged) battle. Cal claimed that his approach was retribution for them, and to some that’s enough to give him the win. Whether or not you regard it as significant, bullying a bully will always earn a battler points for many fans.

I call this battle 2-1 Pat, but there’s no real way to be mad at someone giving Cal the last two rounds. To me, Pat’s first was phenomenal, and Cal wasn’t saying much in the third, letting Pat take it even with a slightly subpar performance. Whether you commend or fault Cal for hassling Pat, or commend or fault Pat for not retaliating, you can't deny that this debate is far better than the one that would still be spinning out of control right now had a fight actually happened.

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