The UFC returns to action on Saturday night for UFC Vegas 46 which will be held at its APEX Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the main event, top 10 featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze square off in what should move the winner closer to a shot at the belt. Kattar is coming off a loss to Max Holloway while Chikadze defeated veteran Edson Barboza the last time out.
In the co-main event, former flyweight title challengers Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia meet in a crucial bout for both fighters.
Let’s take a look at the UFC Vegas 46 main card bouts and make our predictions.
Calvin Kattar is the no. 5 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 33-year old known as the Boston Finisher has been fighting since 2007. Kattar fought under EliteXC, Xtreme Championship Fight League, Combat Zone, and CES MMA before joining the UFC in 2017.
He is 6-3 inside the UFC Octagon and owns victories over Dan Ige, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos, and Andre Fili. Kattar’s losses have come against Renato Moicano, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and most recently former champion Max Holloway.
Kattar is 22-5 with 11 knockouts and two submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 72 inches.
Giga Chikadze is the no. 8 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 33-year old from Georgia is a former GLORY kickboxer who fought under WSOF and Gladiator Challenge. Chikadze had an unsuccessful attempt at the Contender Series but was still signed by the UFC in 2019.
He has won nine straight bouts, including seven inside the UFC Octagon, and is coming off back-to-back TKO wins over longtime contenders Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza. Chikadze has earned Performance of the Night honors in his last three bouts.
Chikadze has a record of 14-2 with nine knockouts and one submission win. He stands six feet tall with a reach of 74 inches and fights as an orthodox fighter.
Chikadze is on the verge of getting a title shot and he’s proven that he’s more than just a kicking machine. Against Barboza, he showed excellent striking, superior speed, and very high fight IQ. Kattar has amazing cardio and is known for his toughness. He likes to use his jab to set up his bigger punches.
Kattar is one of the best boxers in the division but against Chikadze, he might need to use his wrestling to drain Chikadze’s gas tank. Chikadze has not fought in the championship rounds while Kattar is used to it. It will be interesting to see how this fight plays out after round three if it goes to that point.
It’s a mistake to count Kattar out but I think Chikadze’s striking will be too much for him here. With his timing and excellent use of range, Chikadze should be able to dictate this fight and set up Kattar for the finish.
Prediction: Giga Chikadze
Katlyn Chookagian is the no. 2 ranked female flyweight in the UFC and the no. 10 ranked women’s pound-for-pound fighter in the promotion. The 33-year old from Quakertown, Pennsylvania is a former Cage Fury women’s bantamweight and flyweight champion. She joined the UFC in 2016 and after going 6-2 in her first 8 UFC bouts, she challenged for the UFC women’s flyweight title but lost to Valentina Shevchenko.
Chookagian is 16-4 with two knockouts and one submission win. She is 5-9 tall with a reach of 68 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Jennifer Maia is the no. 4 ranked female flyweight in the UFC. The 33-year old from Curitiba, Brazil is a former Invicta FC flyweight champion who joined the UFC in 2018 after making two successful title defenses. Maia is just 4-3 inside the UFC Octagon and challenged for the flyweight title at UFC 255, losing via decision. She bounced back in her last fight by defeating Jessica Eye.
Maia is 19-7 with four knockouts and five submission wins. She stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 64 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Chookagian is one of the more consistent fighters at 125 pounds. She has a high-volume kickboxing game and a sound ground game which makes her tough to beat anywhere the fight goes. Chookagian’s losses have come against the elite of her division.
Maia is coming off a loss in a title fight. She is well known for her physicality which she likes to impose on her opponents. However, we’ve already seen these two fights before and the result was decisive. Chookagian consistently peppered Maia with her jabs and hit her opponent with low kicks from a distance while denying her attempts to take the fight down to the mat.
That fight wasn’t too long ago and based on their last appearances, nothing much has changed. Similarly, the result of this rematch should be the same.
Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian
Brandon Royval is the former Legacy Fighting Alliance flyweight champion and the no. 5 ranked flyweight in the UFC. The 29-year old from Denver, Colorado joined the UFC in 2020 and opened his UFC career with back-to-back wins over Tim Elliott and Kai Kara-France. However, his last two bouts have ended in defeats against Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja.
Royval is 12-6 with 3 knockouts and 8 submission wins. He is a southpaw who is 5-9 tall with a reach of 68 inches.
Rogerio Bontorin is a former BJJ North Brazil champion and the no. 7 ranked flyweight in the UFC. The 29-year old from Parana, Brazil appeared in the Contender Series Brazil show and submitted Gustavo Silva to earn his UFC contract. He split his first four UFC assignments before defeating Matt Schnell at UFC 262 in his most recent outing.
Bontorin has a record of 17-3 with 3 knockouts and 11 submission wins. He is 5-5 tall with a reach of 67 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Royval puts on an incredible pace in every fight and he is just chaos inside the cage with punches in bunches and leg kicks. On the ground, he is dangerous in the scrambles and when presented with the opportunity, he quickly goes for the submission moves.
Bontorin is also aggressive on the feet but the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt prefers to take the fight to the mat where he can secure top position. To do so, he comes up with powerful slams or huge takedown attempts.
In this fight, I trust Royval’s ability to scramble to help him keep this fight on the feet where he has the edge over his opponent. In the stand-up, Royval is capable of more damage and is the more powerful fighter.
Prediction: Brandon Royval
Jake Collier is a veteran of Rumble Time Promotions who also became RFA middleweight champion. The 33-year old from St. Louis, Missouri has alternated between a loss and win in all his UFC bouts. Collier lost to Carlos Felipe via split decision in his last bout at UFC 263 last June.
Collier has a record of 12-6 with 5 knockouts and three submission wins. He is 6-3 tall with a reach of 78 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Chase Sherman is a former bare-knuckle boxer who also fought under Titan FC. The 32-year old from D’iberville, Mississippi won the BKFC heavyweight title and also fought for Island Fights. He joined the UFC in 2016 and went 2-5 to start his UFC career. Sherman then won four consecutive bouts before suffering back-to-back losses to Andrei Arlovski and Porter Parker.
Sherman is 15-8 with 14 knockouts and one submission win. He is 6-4 tall with a reach of 78 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Collier is aggressive and has some pop in his punches. However, he is not a true heavyweight and is more of an overweight 205-pounder who is willing to scrap with the bigger boys. He’s beaten Gian Villante at this weight class but has not won two fights in a row, even at the other divisions he’s fought for.
Sherman may not be a world-beater but he can definitely provide Fight of the Night worthy performances. Like Collier, he likes to brawl but unlikes Collier, this is his natural weight class. He also has low kicks which can slow Collier down in this fight.
I think Sherman’s durability withstands Collier’s biggest shots and in a brawl like this one, the bigger fighter will prevail. That fighter is Sherman.
Prediction: Chase Sherman
Bill Algeo is a former Ring of Combat featherweight champion who made three successful title defenses. The 32-year old from Boothwyn, Pennsylvania joined the UFC in 2019 and has alternated between a loss and a win. Algeo is coming off a unanimous decision loss against Ricardo Lamas last May 22, 2021.
He has a record of 4-6 with three knockouts and six submission wins. Algeo is a switch hitter who stands six feet tall and has a reach of 73 inches.
Joanderson Brito is fought in Brazil before joining promotions like the Fusion Fighting Championships, Future FC, and LFA. He joined the Contender Series last August and picked up a win over Diego Lopes to earn his UFC contract and will be making his UFC debut here.
Brito has a record of 12-2 with five knockouts and five submission wins. The 26-year old from San Helena, Brazil is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 72 inches.
Algeo has a good mix of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but his technical abilities are often outshined by his willingness to scrap. On the other hand, Brito is a strong and aggressive fighter who is willing to eat punches in order to land some of his own big blows.
This should be one of the more exciting fights at the event. It’s going to be a battle between Algeo’s technique and Brito’s brute strength. Algeo has a good chin but he’s lost to similar powerful opponents in the past. If Algeo survives the early onslaught, he will win a long fight. However, I don’t think that’s happening. Brito gets the early stoppage here.
Prediction: Joanderson Brito
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