- Date & Location: Saturday, January 15 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Prelims (4 p.m. ET), Main Card (7 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: ESPN+
A pair of top-10 ranked featherweights face off in the main event of the UFC’s first fight card of 2022. In the headlining bout of UFC Vegas 46, Calvin Kattar, who is the No. 5 ranked fighter in the official UFC featherweight rankings, faces the No. 8 ranked Giga Chikadze.
Kattar has not fought since he dropped a one-sided decision to Max Holloway in January 2021. That loss ended his two-fight winning streak. Chikadze is coming off an August TKO win over Edson Barboza. Chikadze is 7-0 since he joined the UFC in 2019 and has TKO wins in his three most recent outings.
Kattar vs Chikadze Odds
|Kattar To Win||+198||+190||+198||+200||+205|
|Chikadze To Win||-233||-240||-233||-250||-245|
Kattar vs Chikadze prediction & pick
What we have here is a boxer vs. kickboxer matchup. Kattar is a superb MMA boxer, while Chikadze had a long and successful career as a kickboxer before he transitioned to a full-time MMA fighter.
With the styles of these two, Kattar needs to cut off the cage and crowd Chikadze. He cannot give him time or space to attempt his kicks. Chikadze can use his hands, but his most devastating techniques are his kicks. Kattar needs to take that option from his opponent.
Chikadze’s confidence is soaring. He started his UFC run with four decisions, but as he has developed his MMA skills, he has become more comfortable inside the cage. He has scored “Performance of the Night” bonuses in each of his three most recent bouts. His improved takedown defense is the key to that confidence. He is unlikely to need to worry about wrestling against Kattar and that puts the fight in Chikadze’s world.
Pick: Chikadze to win
Who has the edge?
The biggest question mark in this fight is what the loss to Holloway did to Kattar. Kattar took a record-setting amount of damage in that five-round loss and we don’t know if that fight changed him.
This fight is incredibly important to Kattar’s future, but I don’t see him winning it even if he comes out and looks the same as he did prior to the Holloway bout.
Prediction: Chikadze to beat Kattar via decision
Betting value with Chikadze
With the odds being what they are, Chikadze doesn’t present a great value. While I think he will win and extend his winning streak to eight straight in the UFC, I think the real value comes down to how Chikadze wins this fight. Kattar showed he is one of the toughest fighters in the UFC in his bout with Holloway. With his toughness and boxing skills, I think he forces Chikadze to go the distance. I would look for bets on the over/under as far as time and method of victory in this fight to increase Chikadze’s value.
What’s at stake?
The winner of this fight will be one or maybe two fights away from getting a shot at UFC gold in the 145-pound division.
See below a list of reliable sportsbooks and choose the best one for you.