Calvin Kattar returned from a year away from the octagon and bounced back from his 2021 defeat to Max Holloway in style at UFC Vegas 46.
Kattar dominated rising contender Giga Chikadze in a thrilling five-round encounter at the UFC Apex that saw him claim a shutout unanimous decision on the scorecards after a back-and-forth war that saw “The Boston Finisher” hold sway in each of the five rounds.
Chikadze started out fast, using his famed kicks to put Kattar on the back foot, but a slip opened up an opportunity for the Bostonian to take the action to the mat, where he dominated the Georgian and came close to locking up a first-round submission.
The bout stayed standing for the remainder of the fight as the two traded strikes for 20 solid minutes before Kattar came close to scoring a last-gasp stoppage as the final seconds counted down.
The key to victory for Kattar was his relentless pressure. His constant forward momentum forced Chikadze to fight off the back foot and all but eliminated the Georgian’s best weapons, his kicks. With the bout almost exclusively contested in boxing range, Kattar outmuscled, outstruck and outbattled Chikadze, who gamely tried to keep pace, but simply couldn’t find an answer for the American’s pressure.
When the bout went the distance, there was little doubt over the result, and the judges were unanimous in their verdict. Indeed, the judges each scored every round for Kattar, with the scorecards reading 50-45, 50-45, 50-44.
Starting 2022 off right! 👏@CalvinKattar reminding everyone why he’s a top contender at featherweight! 👊#UFCVegas46 pic.twitter.com/qT42bjz6kf
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 16, 2022
The co-main event of the evening saw a fourth career win by submission for Jake Collier, who defeated fellow heavyweight Chase Sherman via rear-naked choke in the first round.
The bout started out standing, with both men looking to land heavy punches. But after Collier managed to force the action to the floor, he took over and claimed the submission victory at the 2:26 mark to continue a remarkable 10-fight UFC run that has consistently alternated wins and losses.
It was a successful night for flyweight contender Brandon Royval, who narrowly outpointed fellow contender Rogerio Bontorin, but made clear after his split-decision victory that he was far from impressed with his display.
Nonetheless, Royval’s victory was a hugely important one, as it halted a two-fight skid and repositioned him as a fringe contender for the UFC’s 125-pound title.
In the women’s flyweight division, longtime contender Katlyn Chookagian tied champion Valentina Shevchenko for the most wins in divisional history as she notched her eighth UFC win at 125 pounds with victory over fellow former title challenger Jennifer Maia.
Chookagian showed all of her composure and skill as she comprehensively outfought Maia over the full three-round duration to earn a shutout win on the scorecards, with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 in favour of “Blonde Fighter.”
It was a big night for the debuting Viacheslav Borshchev, who followed up his spectacular knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series with another thumping finish.
A crushing left to the body from Borshchev folded up Dakota Bush, and a flurry of hammerfists to his grounded opponent forced the TKO stoppage to hand the Russian an eye-catching victory on his octagon debut.
But, Borshchev wasn’t finished there, as he followed up his win with an impressive spot of dancing as he joyously celebrated his victory.
And in the opening main card bout of the night, Bill Algeo scored a unanimous decision victory over debutant Joanderson Brito, then called for a fight with Chikadze
Algeo has called for a bout with Chikadze on multiple occasions in the past, and he made the most of his mic time while on the same fight card as his preferred opponent as he staked his claim for a future fight with the Georgian.
UFC Vegas 46: Official Results
- Calvin Kattar def. Giga Chikadze via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-44)
- Jake Collier def. Chase Sherman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:26
- Brandon Royval def. Rogerio Bontorin via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Jennifer Maia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Viacheslav Borshchev def. Dakota Bush via TKO (body shot and ground strikes) – Round 1, 3:47
- Bill Algeo def. Joanderson Brito via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jamie Pickett def. Joseph Holmes via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Court McGee def. Ramiz Brahimaj via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Brian Kelleher def. Kevin Croom via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- T.J. Brown def. Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)