Almost one year to the day (Jan. 16, 2021), Calvin Kattar was deconstructed on the feet by Max Holloway but the 33-year-old returned successfully at UFC Vegas 46 with redemption on his mind.
Calvin Kattar last fought Max Holloway. The pair of featherweight gunslingers went five rounds and he hung on despite enduring significant damage. The Boston striker had moments against the Hawaiian. It was Holloway’s evasiveness, his adept ability to slip, rip and counter pull-respond which made his offense trickier to decipher.
At UFC Vegas 46, fans witnessed two strikers on the cusp of title contention ready to take calculated risks and put it all on the line. However, Calvin Kattar showed evolution and a shade of Holloway after notching a volume-heavy striking clinic.
Closer Look At Kattar’s Performance
Immediately as the bell for the first round sounded, Chikadze came out aggressively and utilized feints in round one. Bell to bell, the fight was captivating because Giga Chikadze‘s style of kicking is camouflaged. The Georgian changes the way he approaches entries into striking range with his various kicks. While his ‘Giga kick’ targets the liver, the rising featherweight has learned how to weaponize that in a variety of capacities.
While feinting and changing the trajectory of his kicks, Chikadze is able to perform dynamic maneuvers. During a striking battle, if Chikadze fakes or targets the body often, eventually he will look for high kick openings (i.e. the front kicks down the middle he launched against Calvin Kattar during their UFC Vegas 46 bout).
Another driving narrative of this fight was the conditioning of Chikadze began to falter at the end of round three. While Chikadze’s conditioning appeared to be on point early, the forward pressure of Kattar began to wear on the Georgian as the fight progressed. Chikadze found himself in trouble after Calvin Kattar was able to time his kick and score a takedown.
During UFC Vegas 46, Kattar made gains on his ground game after he showed a nimble ability to maneuver in grappling transitions against Chikadze. Meanwhile, his ability to snatch necks remains underrated and could easily be a new weapon he hones in the coming months.
During the later rounds, the two began to open up more with their striking as both tired tremendously. Kattar appeared to have more gas in the tank and his coaches implored him to go for elbows a number of times. By the fifth round, he seemed to be in control of the fight and left Chikadze bloodied. During brief clinch exchanges, Kattar’s unique ability to land elbows in such close range made him extra dangerous for the duration of the 25-minute fight.
Fighters React To UFC Vegas 46: Kattar v.s Chikadeze
After the UFC’s 4-week break, fans and fighters were counting down the minutes until UFC carnage returned. Here’s what the pros had to say following the New England Cartel’s big win on Saturday.
What is next for Calvin Kattar after UFC Vegas 46?