MMA Preview – Calvin Kattar vs Giga Chikadze at UFC on ESPN 32
CALVIN KATTAR VS GIGA CHIKADZE FACTS
When is UFC on ESPN 32? Saturday 15th January, 2022 - 22:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC on ESPN 32? UFC APEX, Enterprise, Nevada (US)
Where can I get tickets for UFC on ESPN 32? Click here for the latest ticket information for UFC events
What channel is UFC on ESPN 32 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC on ESPN 32? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!
CALVIN KATTAR VS GIGA CHIKADZE LOWDOWN
Nobody quite expected Calvin Kattar (22-5) to get completely humbled on the feet against Max Holloway a year ago, but the former champion put on a striking clinic landing the most strikes in a fight in UFC history and ultimately losing a lobsided unanimous decision. Let’s not forget Kattar is still one of the better strikers and most polished boxers in the division as we saw when he erased Jeremy Stephens with a beautiful standing elbow and outclassed Dan Ige to a unanimous decision snapping a six-fight win streak in 2020.
Giga Chikadze (14-2) is gaining some serious steam now. He won his first five UFC fights but besides his unanimous decision over Omar Morales in 2020, his competition was not adding much to his stock. However, his reputation as one of the best strikers in Europe is bubbling after he dismantled the veteran Cub Swanson last year finishing him in the first round with the help of his ‘Giga kick’ and then he took on the legendary striker Edson Barboza in what was his toughest test by a mile. Chikadze proceeded to put on a masterful display sealing his third TKO and ‘performance of the night’ in a row.
CALVIN KATTAR VS GIGA CHIKADZE PREDICTION
This is a very tough fight for Kattar coming off a pounding and another huge opportunity for Chikadze to prove he is a top contender. This is going to be striking spectacle with Kattar having the edge when it comes to his hands, power and MMA experience whereas the Georgian will have range and variety of attack in particular his kicks.
Chikadze only has two inches in arm reach and a half-inch leg reach advantage, but it is his technique that allows him to cause damage from range. He has an extensive kickboxing background, and he will back himself against any striker in the division especially someone like Kattar who relies on his toughness as opposed to his movement.
There is no doubting Kattar’s resilience, and he likes to walk his opponents down however, unless he adopts a lot more footwork here, Chikadze will swallow him up like a woodchipper. Holloway is a different striker to Chikadze relying more on his hands and output, but we can see the Georgian having similar success with his accuracy landing more kicks to the legs and body.
We have not seen Chikadze suffer much adversity and Kattar is the man to offer it. If he absorbs the initial damage, struts into range and hurts Chikadze, he will have a lot of questions to answer. Kattar needs to start quickly and not allow Chikadze to settle and download the range.
However, the the longer the fight goes on, the more you have to back the Georgian. It is hard to see Kattar burst out the gate coming off that loss to Holloway and fighting a striker of the calibre of Chikadze so we are backing him to take a couple rounds to settle and then proceed to pick Kattar apart from range.
Few featherweights have the ability to do that to Kattar but we believe the Georgian is one of them. Recency bias may boost Kattar’s odds, and he is more than capable of causing the upset and even a knockout.
Prediction: Chikadze via Decision - CLICK HERE FOR PARIMATCH'S WELCOME OFFER (BET £5, GET £30 IN BONUSES!)
Value Bet: Kattar via KO/TKO