Fight Study (1/15/22)
The UFC’s featherweight division will take center stage on Saturday from Las Vegas when the division’s 8th ranked contender, Giga Chikadze, squares off against the 5th ranked contender, Calvin Kattar. The oddsmakers have made Chikadze the significant favorite in this fight, and he will be carrying the larger DFS salaries. He is available for $9,300 on DraftKings and $22 on Fanduel. Kattar is more affordable and is priced at $6,900 and $14 respectively. As the Main Event, this fight has been scheduled for five rounds with current odds suggesting an early finish as this fight is -170 to conclude before reaching the judges’ scorecards.
Chikadze has a career record of 14-2 with 9 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission, and 4 wins by decision. He is currently on a 9 fight win streak and is a perfect 7-0 in the UFC. After winning 4 straight decisions to start his career in the octagon, Chikadze has now put together a string of 3 consecutive finishes coming into this fight. In his last fight, he defeated Edson Barboza by third-round TKO in August of 2021. Chikadze will not be the better boxer in this fight, but his kickboxing background will play a big role in this one. If he is able to keep Kattar at distance by mixing in kicks, he should be on his way to victory.
Kattar has a professional record of 22-5 with 11 wins by KO/TKO, 2 wins by submission, and 9 wins by decision. He is 6-3 in the UFC but has only lost to elite fighters in the featherweight division. To date, he has only been defeated by Renato Moicano, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Max Holloway inside the octagon. Kattar is an excellent boxer (second only to Holloway in the division as far as I’m concerned) with a solid chin. He has only been finished once in his career – a submission loss dating back to 2008. He will give up an inch in height and 2 inches in reach to his opponent, however, and this may prove problematic against an excellent striker like Chikadze.
This fight promises to be a thrilling one between two of the best striking featherweights in the UFC. Neither fighter has been knocked out in their respective careers. That may change on Saturday as this fight is a betting favorite to end inside the distance. Given that Kattar is coming off of a loss and Chikadze is on an impressive win streak, it is understandable that Chikadze is the favorite here, but I believe this fight is going to be much closer than the odds would indicate. I predict a war will play out in this one, with both fighters having a chance at victory.
With 5 rounds of action, I anticipate a high-scoring affair for Saturday’s Main Event. I cannot recommend double exposure in this fight, but this is the kind of matchup that may see a fair amount of lineups featuring both fighters. Given the disparity in their salaries, I prefer rostering Kattar at his bargain price. I like him as a top cash play as I expect a high ceiling for Kattar with a solid floor. With neither fighter having ever been knocked out, I anticipate a drawn-out fight with a good deal of scoring. Chikadze’s salary is too much for my liking, and he will struggle to bring good value to his price tag. Both fighters should be given exposure in GPP contests, but I recommend giving the majority of those to Kattar. This fight is worthy of heavy exposure in DFS contests on Saturday.
That’s all for this edition of Fight Study. Good luck with your lineups! For more advice on DFS contests for MMA, click HERE.