Calvin Kattar Dominates Giga Chikadze in Blood-Soaked UFC on ESPN 32 Headliner
The first Ultimate Fighting Championship card in 2022 went down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 15.
In the UFC on ESPN 32 headliner, Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze locked horns in a much-anticipated clash in the 145-pound division. It was the first Octagon appearance of Kattar (23-5, 7-3 UFC) following the dominant loss he dropped to Max Holloway, and “The Boston Finisher” shut all his critics down by putting up a magnificent performance. Kattar scored a takedown early in Round 1, putting Chikadze (14-3, 7-1 UFC) with his back on the canvas and keeping it there for the rest of the frame. The Massachusetts native then assailed his adversary with a variety of punches that hit the mark with ease in the early rounds.
In his turn, Chikadze showcased tremendous durability in taking his opponent’s best shots. “Ninja” dug deep in his arsenal, but nothing seemed to match the pace of his foe, not even the notorious “Giga kick.” After landing a wide array of punches and kicks, Kattar switched to razor-sharp elbows that left marks on the Chikadze’s face, which was covered in blood. Kattar went really close to finishing his opponent after a final assault that dropped Chikadze seconds before the final horn. Ultimately, the scorecards read 50-45, 50-45 and 50-44 in favor of the New England Cartel representative. Kattar has won three of his latest four appearances and is now moving a step closer to a title shot.
The co-main event featured a heavyweight slugfest between Jake Collier and Chase Sherman. Collier (13-6, 5-5 UFC) was eager to bounce back after a stinging defeat to Carlos Felipe in his latest appearance. Sherman (15-9, 3-8 UFC) scored with some two-piece combinations early in the clash, but he exposed himself to his opponent’s successful takedown attempt. “The Prototype” quickly jumped to the full-mount position from where he rained down a few elbows. One of the shots opened “The Vanilla Gorilla,” who preferred to concede the back to avoid further punishment. Collier made the most out of the favorable position and put the hooks in, immediately going for a rear-naked choke attempt. After Collier flattened his opponent and sunk the choke in, it was just a matter of seconds before Sherman tapped. The official time indicated the 2:26 mark. In the post-fight interview, Collier accepted to face Justin Tafa on an upcoming card.
Elsewhere, former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Brandon Royval (13-6, 3-2 UFC) edged Rogerio Bontorin (17-4, 1 NC; 3-3 UFC) thanks to a narrow split decision in their 125-pound affair; Katlyn Chookagian (17-4, 10-4 UFC) displayed some remarkable wrestling improvements and took a unanimous decision victory over Jennifer Maia (19-8-1, 4-4 UFC) at flyweight; in a 155-pound bout, Viacheslav Borshchev (6-1, 1-0 UFC) folded Dakota Bush (8-4, 0-2 UFC) with a liver shot that stopped the action at the 3:47 mark in the opening stanza; Bill Algeo (15-6, 2-2 UFC) upended Joanderson Brito (12-3-1, 0-1 UFC) via unanimous consensus with 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 nods from the judges in their featherweight clash.
In some preliminary action, Jamie Pickett (13-6, 2-2 UFC) spoiled the promotional debut of fellow DWCS alum Joseph Holmes (7-2, 0-1 UFC) thanks to a unanimous decision; at welterweight, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 winner Court McGee (21-11, 10-9 UFC) dominated Ramiz Brahimaj (9-4, 1-2 UFC); one-time Ring of Combat titleholder Brian Kelleher (24-12, 8-5 UFC) handled Kevin Croom (21-14, 1NC; 0-2, 1NC UFC) en route to a unanimous verdict in their 145-pound affair; T.J. Brown (16-8, 2-2 UFC) outpointed short-notice replacement Charles Rosa (14-7, 5-7 UFC) via unanimous decision at featherweight.