Giga Chikadze is a rising star in the UFC’s featherweight division who has his sights set on a title shot but will first need to get past his stiffest test in the organization to date when he takes on hard-hitting contender, Calvin Kattar in the Main Event of UFC Vegas 46. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.
- When: Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Line: Calvin Kattar (+190) and Giga Chikadze (-235); odds from Draftkings Sportsbook.
Calvin “The Boston Finisher” Kattar will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time in a year this Saturday after getting pulverized and outclassed by Max Holloway in what could possibly be considered a career-altering beatdown.
Kattar is 33 years old and averages 5.07 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 42 percent striking accuracy, 8.16 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 50 percent striking defense, 0.37 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 30 percent takedown accuracy, 89 percent takedown defense and 0.0 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
Kattar has won three of his last five contests, including wins over Dan Ige (UD, 2020), Jeremy Stephens (TKO Rd2, 2020), Ricardo Lamas (TKO Rd1, 2019) and losses to Max Holloway (UD, 2021) and Zabit Magomedovsharipov (UD, 2019).
While some may have questioned the quality of his opponents when Giga “Ninja” Chikadze first joined the UFC, Chikadze has left little doubt about his technical striking skills, killer instinct and ambition in his rise to the top ten of the division.
Chikadze has a one inch height advantage and two inch reach advantage over Kattar and averages 3.76 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 45 percent striking accuracy, 2.69 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 61 percent striking defense, 0.33 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 33 percent takedown accuracy, 68 percent takedown defense and 0.3 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
Chikadze is undefeated in the UFC with victories over Edson Barboza (TKO Rd3, 2021), Cub Swanson (TKO Rd1, 2021), Jamey Simmons (TKO Rd1, 2020), Omar Morales (UD. 2020) and Irwin Rivera (UD, 2020) in his last five matches.
Kattar vs. Chikadze Narratives
Narratives heading into this fight include the perception that Chikadze has a superior and more diverse array of striking with the ability to cause damage and finish by kicks as well as punches, while Kattar primarily relies on boxing. Chikadze is longer and taller, which many believe will allow him to pick apart Kattar’s poor striking defence and negative striking differential which was dramatically exposed by Max Holloway.
Bettors who are kicking the tires on taking Kattar might question Chikadze’s gas tank in a five-round contest or the quality of Chikadze’s opponents, with some speculating that Kattar may have developed improvements during his time off, not unlike Brian Ortega did after Ortega’s career-altering beatdown by the hands of Holloway.
Kattar vs. Chikadze Prediction
Almost every MMA handicapper is predicting that Chikadze’s kicks and striking technique will result in victory over Kattar, and while that could very well happen, there is little question that when it comes to the betting market and betting value, Chikadze looks like a world-beater after easily finishing Barboza and Swanson and is receiving a lot of love from the market, possibly approaching a sell-high position.
In contrast, our last memory of Kattar is of him getting posterized and mocked by Holloway in a match where he was a +115 underdog to Holloway before the contest, and the current line of Kattar being a significantly bigger dog to Chikadze than he was to Holloway indicates that Kattar has been significantly devalued by the market and is at a buy-low spot.
Kattar has never been finished by strikes and while his striking defence leaves a lot to be desired, we are hypothesizing that he spent the last year off making improvements in his technique and anticipate that he will not be finished by Chikadze, and if he is not finished, Kattar will be live to make this a closer contest than expected in rounds four and five.
Sportsbetting 101 warns against buying into a team or athlete being as good as their best performance or selling off a team or athlete as being as bad as their worst performance, encouraging avoidance of athletes or teams that might be overvalued by the market and buying low on athletes or teams that are undervalued, and the main event of UFC Vegas 46 features opponents at both ends of the spectrum.
Chikadze could very well win this match up sixty percent of the time but he may be getting a little fat and sassy with his recent body of work and may be overlooking Kattar, as evidenced by him calling out and already looking toward a title shot against Alexander Volkanovski.
Giga Chikadze says Alex Volkanovski would be going the "easy way" by fighting The Korean Zombie.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 11, 2022
We are going to make our pick based on market value and the belief that Kattar will return from his hiatus looking much better than he did in his last fight, taking everyone, including an over-confident Chikadze by surprise.
Pick: Kattar +190
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