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Last Updated Jan 14, 2022, 17:37 PM

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Predictions, Picks, Odds

The UFC kicks off its 2022 schedule with an exciting event in the UFC Apex, ‘UFC Vegas 46’ also known as UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze. The card is to be headlined by striking featherweights in a five-round bout between Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. 

Just before that, the co-main features hard-hitting showman Michel Pereira taking on promotional newcomer Andre Fialho. Other notable bouts scheduled for UFC Vegas 46 include Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia II, Brandon Rovyal vs. Rogerio Bontorin and Jake Collier vs. Chase Sherman.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KATTAR VS. CHIKADZE BETTING PREDICTIONS

Calvin Kattar is a sharp striker with crisp range attacks mainly targeted up top. The boxing-heavy approach has made the Bostonian open to leg kicks in the past, however it seems ‘The Boston Finisher’ is working on the hole in his kicking game.

Kattar’s kicking deficiency has been put on display in all three of his UFC losses. Moicano was the first, and possibly the most effective, at chopping down Kattar’s legs from a distance and hindering his movement. Zabit Magomedshapirov and Max Holloway both used kicks more freely against Calvin, not specifically targeted at his legs but mixing up the targets.

Giga Chikadze ranks among the best kickers at featherweight. His kicking game is so good that he has even had a kick named after him, the ‘Giga Kick’, which he has used to knock out multiple opponents in the UFC. 

Calvin Kattar has won four straight fights after losing the fight prior. (Getty)

Chikadze is a guy who has developed his skills as his level in competition has increased. He started out his UFC tenure by winning two slim split-decisions. In his next two he won via unanimous decision and since then he has amassed a three-fight POTF win streak with all wins coming by way of finish. 

Despite having a tendency of getting outlanded, Kattar somehow always manages to land that straight right of his at some point. Against Holloway, the momentum had shifted too much against his favor, so much so that when he caught Holloway late in the fight it was too little too late. The damage had accumulated on Calvin and Max’s chin is godly.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KATTAR VS. CHIKADZE TALE OF THE TAPE

Kattar vs. Chikadze Tale of the Tape
FighterCalvin KattarGiga Chikadze
Record22-5-014-2-0
Average Fight Time13:3111:21
Height5'11''6'0''
Weight (lbs)145145
Reach (in)72''74''
StanceOrthodoxOrthodox
Age3333
Strikes Landed per Min.5.073.76
Striking Accuracy42%45%
Strikes Absorbed per Min.8.162.69
Striking Defense50%61%
Striking Differential-3.091.07

In terms of style, Holloway is more of a wrecking ball than Chikadze who prefers staying on the outside and picking his shots carefully. This will allow Kattar to take the center of the octagon and pressure the kicker. In a three-rounder I see Chikadze winning due to technique and kicks, however this being a five-rounder means Calvin’s cardio will come into play.

When the pressuring fighter knows how to cut off the cage he will naturally be the fresher fighter in the later rounds. This is simply due to the fact that the pressured fighter covers more ground by moving along the fence.

Chikadze is a gifted striker, but he gets on his bike a bit too much. I foresee this being his heel against a pressuring striker like Kattar.

Going back and watching the early exchanges between Chikadze tells me Giga gets on his bike when facing dangerous strikers. While it is good to be cautious, Chikadze has a tough time getting back into offense mode in these situations, and Max Holloway laid out the blueprint on how to beat Kattar - you have to pressure him and stifle his offense.

All things considered, Chikadze is obviously the more well-rounded striker due to his kicks, but Calvin’s heart and grit will allow him to remain in there until the final bell. Giga will have to dig deep in order to win.

Best Bet: Kattar via TKO/KO/DQ (+400)

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KATTAR VS. CHIKADZE BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Venue: UFC Apex
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Network: ESPN+
  • Prelims Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Main Card Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN VS. JENNIFER MAIA II PICKS

This is a rematch between two top contenders in the Women’s Flyweight division. Chookagian is a tall volume striker with solid technique. She uses her jab and one-two combination especially well in fights that take place on the feet, however she is no slouch on the ground.

Despite not actively seeking takedowns in all of her fights, Chookagian has shown great improvements in her wrestling game throughout her career. Most notably was when she backpacked Antonina Shevchenko for three rounds straight, winning 30-25 on all judges' scorecards. Katlyn can grapple if push comes to shove.

Jennifer Maia is sort of in the same category as Chookagian skill for skill, however her height makes it harder for her to stick and move on the outside. Naturally she needs to get closer to land.

Out of the two, Maia appears to be the better grappler. In their first fight Maia got the better of the grappling exchanges too, so I expect Katlyn to stay on the feet and work her magic with that reach advantage of hers. 

Katlyn Chookagian has seen 12 of her last 13 fights enter Round 3. (AP)

Neither fighter possesses a lot of finishing ability, so I’ll give the advantage to the more active fighter which is Chookagian. On average, Katlyn lands 4.57 strikes every minute while Maia only lands 3.80. 

The fact that Chookagian won the first fight obviously also plays a significant role in determining the outcome of this one. Needless to say Maia has to get this fight to the ground to win. She cannot stand and strike with the far taller and longer opponent and expect to win a decision.

The only issue is that Maia has yet to show a solid ground game. Don’t get me wrong she can get a good takedown here and there, but throughout her entire UFC career she has only managed to land two takedowns in seven fights. 

Nothing leads me to believe that this fight turns out different than the first. When nitpicking each fighter’s evolution nothing major sticks out - they’re both right about where they were when they faced off back in 2019. If I had to point out the more developed fighter I’d say Chookagian though, as her performance against Antonina Shevchenko stood out to me as someone willing to learn and add weapons to the toolbox.

Best Bet: Chookagian via Decision (-120)

Odds & Bouts Subject to Change - per BetMGM

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