The first UFC main event of 2022 is all set to serve up a classic striker versus striker matchup as two fringe contenders look to surge into championship contention at 145 pounds.
In the red corner, Calvin Kattar returns to the octagon after taking a year away after his comprehensive decision loss at the relentless hands of former featherweight champion Max Holloway.
“The Boston Finisher” entered his fight with Holloway with the reputation as one of the best boxers in the division. But Holloway had other ideas, and comprehensively outstruck him en route to a dominant decision win.
The New England Cartel fighter wisely stepped away and has been retooling ahead of a fresh run toward the top of the division in 2022.
But any thoughts of him being eased back into things with a tune-up fight were squashed with the announcement of his opponent. Giga Chikadze is one of the slickest, most impressive strikers in the 145-pound division.
DEspite being undefeated inside the octagon, the Georgian took a little time to truly hit his stride in the UFC. Two split-decision wins were followed by a pair of unanimous decision victories as he won his first four fights under the UFC banner.
Then, in November 2020, Chikadze found top gear. He finished James Simmons via head-kick TKO, then demolished veteran Cub Swanson in just 63 seconds with a body kick.
He then followed up with a huge win over the most dangerous opponent of his career as he finished longtime lightweight contender Edson Barboza via third-round TKO in August 2021 to claim his third straight Performance of the Night bonus and extend his winning streak to nine.
If Chikadze can take his winning form into double figures, he’ll be within touching distance of a number-one contender fight. As for Kattar, victory is a must to show that he has both recovered and evolved since his one-sided loss to Holloway.
Their clash headlines a fun fight card in Las Vegas which also features a women’s flyweight bout between former title challengers Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia, while flyweight contenders Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin face off looking to position themselves for a top contender bout later in the year.
UFC Vegas 46: Fight Card
- Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia
- Brandon Royval vs. Rogerio Bontorin
- Jake Collier vs. Chase Sherman
- Bill Algeo vs. Joanderson Brito
- Court McGee vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
- Gabriel Benitez vs. T.J. Brown
- Dakota Bush vs. Viacheslav Borshchev
- Brian Kelleher vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov
- Silvana Gomez Juarez vs. Vanessa Demopoulos