UFC Vegas 46
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 46 Preview

After nearly a month off the UFC gets back underway Saturday, January 15 with a highly anticipated main event in the Featherweight division to cap off an exciting card to start 2022. UFC Vegas 46 is taking place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada with 10 fights in total. The prelims begin at 5 PM ET on ESPN+ and the main card starts at 7 PM ET on ESPN+ and mainstream ESPN. The main card is highlighted by three ranked fights taking place with possible title chances waiting for the winners.

Calvin Kattar #5 vs Giga Chikadze #8 Featherweight

If anyone comes into 2022 with a load of momentum Georgian Giga Chikadze has to be near the top of the list. Chikadze fought twice last year first defeating Cub Swanson by a first round TKO in May and then headlining UFC Vegas 35 beat then ranked #9 Edson Barboza with a TKO in round three. The wins extended Chikadze’s record to 14-2 and kept him undefeated in the UFC after seven fights. 

On the other side of the ring American Calvin Kattar went 0-1 last year with his lone fight coming in the first event of the year on January 16. That night Kattar’s fight with #1 ranked Max Holloway headlined the event and was one of the more exciting fights of the year earning Fight of the Night. Holloway won with a dominant performance in which he landed 447 strikes. It will be interesting to see if there is any rust for Kattar to shake off in the early rounds of this fight considering there has been a very long gap between fights.

Stylistically this fight lines up to be an absolute banger and slugfest. Both Kattar and Chikadze have won the majority of their fights by knockout while never being knocked out themselves. Clearly Kattar is able to take hundreds of strikes, but continues throwing back and can throw just as many back as he gets hit with which may be what he needs to do with Chikadze who has a strong kickboxing and karate background. The featherweight division has a lot going on towards the top of the division with Holloway pulling out of his title fight with Champion Alexander Volkanovski due to injury. Volkanovski now faces #4 ranked Chan Sung Jung the Korean Zombie. Prior to the announcement, Chikadze took to Twitter to call out the champ calling for a shot at the belt himself. A win for either Kattar or Chikadze at UFC Vegas 46 could very easily spring them into contention to face the winner of Volkanovski and the Korean Zombie.

Prediction

Chikadze by knockout in the 3rd. Chikadze is on a tear at the moment and is just going to be too much for Kattar to handle.

Brandon Royval #5 vs Rogerio Bontorin #7 Flyweight

A trilogy fight for the belt in the Flyweight division between current Champion Brandon Moreno and #1 contender Deiveson Figueiredo is set to take place at UFC 270 next weekend which gives Royval and Bontorin a very good chance to impress the eventual champ and hope to get a title shot next.

Royval comes into this fight on a two fight losing streak including a loss to now champion Moreno on short notice after starting his UFC career by winning two in a row. Bontorin had a two fight losing streak of his own that he ended with a unanimous decision win over current #9 Matt Schnell in May last year. Both fighters are known for their ground game with 19 submission victories between the two. This fight is probably the second best fight on the entire card after the main event, but should be very much a ground control fight.

Prediction 

Royval by decision. Two solid grapplers with strong backgrounds in Brazilian jiu-jitsu will not allow for either one to be finished, but I believe that Royval has to get a win here and will be able to control the tempo of the fight.

Katlyn Chookagian #2 vs Jennifer Maia #4 Flyweight

In a division absolutely dominated by Valentina Shevchenko it is motivation to go and try to defeat her and for both of these fighters a win on Saturday will put them in line to challenge Shevchenko next. This is the second fight between Chookagian and Maia with Chookagian winning by unanimous decision in 2019. In that fight Maia missed weight and the bout was moved to catchweight. Since that first bout both have fought for the belt with Chookagian losing by TKO and Maia losing by decision. 

Prediction

I see this as another decision fight which is the norm for both fighters, as 15 of 20 fights for Chookagian and 15 of 27 fights for Maia going to decision. I think Chookagian will do the double over Maia and win again by unanimous decision by keeping Maia at distance.

Besides the ranked fights, UFC Vegas 46 has a few other fights that are absolutely worth watching.

Bill Algeo vs Joanderson Brito Featherweight

A fight of very different styles with Algeo having the superior standup game while Brito is much more comfortable on the ground. This is Brito’s UFC debut and the Brazilian comes in with a record of 12-2 and on a 10 fight win streak. Algeo is 14-6, but has only won one of his last three fights. This has the potential to be a very entertaining fight in the Featherweight division.

Prediction

Brito by submission. At only 26 years old Brito could use a win to continue a hot streak and add another Brazilian name to the table.

Dakota Bush vs Viacheslav Borshchev Lightweight

Borshchev is a newcomer to MMA and will be making his UFC debut. Prior to MMA he was a kickboxing world champion and his success has moved with him into the octagon. Through six fights he is 5-1 with all five wins coming by way of knockout. Bush on the other side lost his UFC debut in his last fight by decision so he looks to get that first UFC victory on his record. Bush is a submission expert with four of his eight wins coming by submission. If he can manage to get Borshchev on the ground it could be a long night for the Russian kickboxer.

Prediction

Borshchev continues his strong switch to MMA and will manage to stop Bush’s takedown attempts before finishing the American with another knockout.

Vendetta Sports Media is sponsored by Monkey Knife Fight, the fastest growing DFS site in the industry. MKF’s unique style and gameplay make betting fun and easy. Use our promo code ‘VENDETTA’ or use the link below to get a 100% instant match on any deposit and let them know that we sent you!
Signup now!

Check out the Vendetta Twitch!!

SHOP at the Vendetta Store!

SUBSCRIBE to the Vendetta YouTube!!