At long last, the UFC is back! After a tedious Christmas hiatus, the sport we all know and love is finally up and running this weekend, featuring some of the most interesting strikers the company has to offer.
The main card is set to kick off on Saturday 16th January at 7 pm EST / 12 am GMT in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Calvin Kattar vs Giga Chikadze
Headlining the card are two strikers but with completely different styles and career paths. The first, Calvin Kattar, holds a heavy boxing style fresh out of the New England Cartel and will be wanting to get back to winning ways. His last fight, which took place this time last year, ended in one of the most brutal beatings the sport has seen. Without dwelling too much on the previous bout, Kattar would like to reduce the 300 strike deficit he received against Max Holloway and will be hoping to bounce back from a rare loss.
Standing on the other side of the cage is the hyped Georgian kickboxer, Giga Chikadze. Being one of the taller fighters in the featherweight division, the 6 foot 33-year-old is carrying a 6 fight winning streak in the UFC, including 2 huge wins over the likes of Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza. In his upcoming bout, it will be his first test against the upper, upper echelon of 145ers, who evidently is more durable compared to his previous opponents. A win for Chikadze could see him knocking on the door of a featherweight title shot.
Brandon Royval vs Rogerio Bontorin
Despite not being the most stacked card the UFC has ever put on due to cancellations*, there seems to be a certain bout flying severely under the radar: Brandon ‘Rawdog’ Royval and Rogerio Bontorin. Both athletes own wicked performances such as Royval’s crazy win over Kai Kara-France. We are in the prime of fun flyweight fights, and this fight is expected to be the same. With 25 finishes collectively, both men will want to pick up from their rugged recent form and aim towards a potential title fight in the not-so-far future.
Katlyn Chookagian vs Jennifer Maia
Being the only female fight on both the main and preliminary card are ex-title contenders Chookagian and Maia. With Chookagian already having a win against her opponent in 2019 via decision, it will be interesting to see where either fighter has improved. Respectfully suggesting both fighters are off the mark from champ Valentina Shevchenko, this bout is crying out for a great performance in order to demand a title fight anytime soon.
Unfortunately, Michel Pereira will no longer be fighting Muslim Salikhov or any other short-notice replacement. Additionally, Saidyokub Kakhramonov is out against Brian Kelleher* and Vanessa Demopoulos vs Silvana Juarez’ have also rescheduled due to COVID-19 protocols.
*Brian Kelleher will now be fighting Kevin Croom who stepped up on short notice.
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