UFC Fight Night predictions — Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikdaze: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream

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UFC fans rejoice, the promotion is back for its first Fight Night of 2022 following a one-month vacation. Top 10 featherweights Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze are expected to deliver dazzling displays of strikes for starved MMA fans.

Kattar (22-5) returns to action for the first time in 364 days after suffering a record-setting loss to Max Holloway. Kattar absorbed 447 strikes against Holloway over the course of 25 minutes. The scorecards read 50–43, 50–43, 50–42 in favor of Holloway. UFC president Dana White was so concerned for Kattar’s wellbeing that he demanded Kattar immediately be transported to the hospital. Kattar has never been knocked out, but the accumulative damage he took in his last fight has people worried for his wellbeing against a striker the caliber of Chikadze. 

Kattar had won four of his last five before the loss to Holloway, but that defeat did some damage to his brand. Still, there are redeeming qualities to his game that made him a top 10 fighter. He has a proven gas tank, as evident in fights against Dan Ige and Zabit Magomedsharipov. His crisp boxing and ability to mix in elbows were highlighted against Jeremy Stephens. Against Chikadze, however, Kattar will have to present an entirely different approach.

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Chikadze (14-2) has transformed into a potential dark horse contender at featherweight. An impressive victory against Kattar will shortlist him for a title shot against champion Alex Volkanovski. The impression of Chikadze was not always so cheery. 

His first brush with UFC fans was through Dana White’s Contender Series, losing a third-round rear-naked choke to Austin Springer. The Glory kickboxing veteran made his official UFC debut one year and gradually found his footing. A pair of split decision wins were followed by two unanimous decision wins. That pattern was succeeded by TKO victories over Jamey Simmons and Cub Swanson, plus a bonus TKO over Edson Barboza. Chikadze is among the most accomplished strikers in the UFC. Now that he has a firm MMA foundation underneath him, the featherweight division should be worried.

Here is the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Giga Chikadze -260

Calvin Kattar +210

Featherweight

Katlyn Chookagian -180

Jennifer Maia +155

Women’s flyweight

Brandon Royval -170

Rogerio Bontorin +145

Flyweight

Jake Collier -135

Chase Sherman +115

Heavyweight

Viacheslav Borshchev -190

Dakota Bush +160

Featherweight

Joanderson Brito -140 Bill Algeo +120 Featherweight UFC Fight Night viewing information

Date: Jan. 15 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas
Stream: ESPN+

Prediction

Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze: Chikadze has fought and won four times in the last 15 months while Kattar took a historic beating that is tough to know how his body has recovered from. Chikadze is in rare form, coming off TKO victories over Barboza and Swanson. Sure, his recent opponents are aging out of the game, but Chikadze toyed with two of featherweight’s best veteran strikers. Kattar is a top 10 talent, no doubt. Fans saw hints of his potential in a competitive loss to Magomedsharipov, potential actualized against Ige and Jeremy Stephens. Unfortunately, there are far too many question marks in the aftermath of his brutal Holloway loss and subsequent hiatus. Kattar may have to employ a wrestling-heavy game to contend with Chikadze’s striking acumen, a difficult feat. Kattar has never been knocked out, but how healthy is that chin? Combining that concern with the long layoff and it’s tough to side with Kattar. Pick: Giga Chikadze via TKO3

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Source by [Livezstream.com]

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