MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 46, a five-round non-title featherweight bout between Giga Chikadze and Calvin Kattar. The event takes place on Saturday, January 15 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Giga Chikadze (-235)
Chikadze (14-2) is the No. 8 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 33-year-old Georgian is a perfect 7-0 in the UFC with wins over the likes of Edson Barboza and Cub Swanson. A talented kickboxer, Chikadze has only been a professional MMA fighter since 2015, but in the seven years since then, he has become of the best featherweights on the planet. One of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC featherweight division, Chikadze has nine career knockout wins, including his last three wins inside the Octagon. He is on a serious roll as of late and he carries plenty of momentum into this fight against Kattar. At this point, it feels like this is Chikadze’s fight to lose given how hot he has been and how much of an opportunity he has here. If Chikadze can go out there and beat Kattar, there should be no reason he wouldn’t be next in line to fight for the 145lbs belt before 2022 is up.
Calvin Kattar (+195)
Kattar (22-5) is the No. 5 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 33-year-old American first joined the UFC back in 2017 and since then he has racked up a 6-3 record inside the Octagon. He has defeated the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Dan Ige, and Shane Burgos inside the Octagon, while also losing to Max Holloway, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Renato Moicano, and four of his wins have come by knockout while having never been stopped himself. One of the best boxers at 145lbs, Kattar has 11 wins by knockout in his MMA career. He is a talented striker who is notoriously tough, having absorbed a UFC-record number of significant strikes against Holloway. After taking a full year off, Kattar is fully recovered and he is now looking forward to pulling off the upset against Chikadze.
Fight Breakdown: This should be a fun fight as long as it lasts given that both Chikadze and Kattar are strikers who prefer to stand and trade. I would actually be surprised to see any grappling in this fight as I expect both men to want to keep it standing and try to knock each other out on the feet. Although Kattar has great hands and has KO power in them, Chikadze is the more well-rounded striker due to his vicious kicks. He also has far more momentum heading into this fight with seven straight wins compared to Kattar, who hasn’t fought in a year since getting destroyed by Holloway. All signs are pointing to Chikadze winning this fight and then continuing to move up the UFC featherweight ladder. Chikadze should be able to outstrike Kattar over the course of the five rounds and either win a decision or potentially even be the first man to knock Kattar out inside the Octagon.
Prediction: Giga Chikadze