After what felt like an eternity, the UFC finally returned to action on Saturday night with such an entertaining main event that one would think the UFC brass knew exactly what they were doing with the return. And they almost certainly did, putting two exciting featherweights like Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze against each other.
After Max Holloway had to pull out of his trilogy fight with Alexander Volkanovski, Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze grew as a contender fight in the eyes of many fans. With the news being official that The Korean Zombie will be next for a shot at Volkanovski’s featherweight title at UFC 273, the Kattar-Chikadze winner wouldn’t be next. But even with The Korean Zombie getting the next shot at gold, if Calvin Kattar or Giga Chikadze put on a stellar show like the fans have been accustomed to in their last few fights, walking out of the UFC APEX with a victory could raise their stock in the division.
And put stake their claim as the next in line.
Giga Chikadze started the fight strong, landing an assortment of kicks on Calvin Kattar. Kattar lunged to capture a take down, capitalizing on a slip from Giga, and began to hold him on the mat. After a quick scramble Calvin Kattar looked to lock in a submission from the back as the first round ended. In Round two the striking of both men was on display, landing damaging blows. It was an amazing back-and-forth fight, giving the fans inside the APEX a memorable showing. The five round war between Giga Chikadze and Calvin Kattar was an instant classic for the first main event of 2022, with Kattar pulling away in the later rounds to win a hard-fought decision.
PROS GIVE THEIR TAKE
Check out how the pros reacted to the UFC Vegas 46 main event!
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) January 16, 2022
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) January 16, 2022
What a fight 🔥👏🏿👏🏿#UFCVegas46
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) January 16, 2022
Great main event to start the year off! 🔥 #UFCVegas46
— Shane Burgos (@HurricaneShaneB) January 16, 2022
What a fight! 🔥👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽#UFCVegas46
— Thiago Marreta (@TMarretaMMA) January 16, 2022
Goodness. Kattar is one of my favorite to watch. Always crisp and technical. Always game. Heart and swagger. #UFCvegas46
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) January 16, 2022
That was a great fight! Way to start the year 👏🏽 @ufc
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) January 16, 2022
Wow that’s how u comeback after a long layoff
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) January 16, 2022
What a war! That a way to set the year off right! Insane fight. #UFCVegas46
— Cody Durden (@Cody_Durden) January 16, 2022
Incredible heart here. Amazing to see. I love this sport. Get after it fellas!!!
— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) January 16, 2022
Kattar is on another level tonight #UFCVegas46
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) January 16, 2022
This makes me want to fight! Great pace great output!!#UFCVegas46
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) January 16, 2022
— Jeremy Stephens (@LiLHeathenMMA) January 16, 2022
Amazin fite boys. Wow!!
— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) January 16, 2022
What a fight!!! 🤯
Rounds of the year!!
— Max Griffin (@MaxPainGriffin) January 16, 2022
Straight up war to start the year amazing chins by both!!!#UFCVegas46
— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) January 16, 2022
Kattar is a great fighter and Giga has zero quit in him 🔥🔥 awesome fight guys #UFCVegas46
— Terrance McKinney (@twrecks155) January 16, 2022
Holy shit Katter is a stud #ufcvegas46
— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) January 16, 2022
Wowww, beautiful elbows, amazing fight!! #UFCVegas46
— Marina Rodriguez MMA (@wmmarz) January 16, 2022