Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze kicked off 2022 in style with a fast-paced all-action affair that saw Kattar claim a unanimous-decision victory in the main event Saturday night.
Chikadze came out aggressive in the first round, looking to establish an early lead with his low kicks. But a missed head kick turned into a slip, which became an opportunistic takedown from Kattar.
That put the fight in a good position for Kattar who spent the majority of the first round in dominant position and took the early lead in the fight.
The fight came alive in the second round. Things continued to go well for Kattar in the early going. His pressure and volume in the striking had Chikadze on the back foot for much of the first half. However, the Georgian began firing back, and there were several fun exchanges.
The fast-paced nature of the fight had both fighters feeling the effects by the third round. Kattar's pressure began taking over as the defining aspect of the fight.
Chikadze was never completely out of the fight, but Kattar put in an impressive performance to be in control for the vast majority of five rounds, including a strong finish in the fifth round.
Here's a look at the rest of the results from the UFC's Apex facility in Las Vegas.
- Calvin Kattar def. Giga Chikadze via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-44)
- Jake Collier def. Chase Sherman via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 2:26
- Brandon Royval vs. Rogerio Bontorin via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Jennifer Maia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Viacheslav Borshchev def. Dakota Bush via TKO, Round 1, 3:47
- Bill Algeo def. Joanderson Brito via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jamie Pickett def. Joseph Holmes via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Court McGee def. Ramiz Brahimaj via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Brian Kelleher def. Kevin Croom via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- TJ Brown def. Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jake Collier def. Chase Sherman
In nine UFC fights, Jake Collier had never won by submission. In his 10th, he locked in a first-round rear-naked choke to submit Chase Sherman and pick up his second win in the division of the big men.
Both heavyweights came out swinging and looking to end the fight early. Both landed some heavy shots early on, but it was Collier who got the better of the exchanges.
Despite the success on the feet, Collier caught a body kick from Sherman and took him down. From there, he worked his way to mount, where he landed some damage before taking his back and sinking in the choke.
It was one of the most complete performances we've seen from Collier. His career to this point had been unique, to say the least. Collier has alternated wins over his last 10 fights, going all the way back to 2014 with stops at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.
Perhaps he has found his home as a heavy-handed big man who can also do some grappling when the opportunity presents itself.
Brandon Royval def. Rogerio Bontorin
Brandon Royval might not have been unhappy he didn't get the finish, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. The Colorado-native fought a fast-paced affair and attempted multiple submissions in an attempt to finish Rogerio Bontorin.
Ultimately, he had to rely on two judges to see the fight his way but got his hand raised nevertheless.
Royval doubled Bontorin up in total strikes, per ESPN FightCenter. He wanted the fight on the feet and showed why, as he was the quicker fighter in the striking department. Of course, Bontorin was the winner in one judge's eye, so he had some success of his own.
That came on the mat. Bontorin finished eight of his nine takedown attempts. However, some of that was negated by the three submission attempts from Royval, including an armbar that nearly won the fight.
Ultimately, Royval got a huge win that snapped a two-fight losing skid.
Katlyn Chookagian def. Jennifer Maia
It was the same old song and dance for Katlyn Chookagian against Jennifer Maia. The 33-year-old defeated Maia via unanimous decision back in 2019.
As it turns out, there wasn't much reason for a rematch. Chookagian followed the same path to victory, taking a clean sweep on all three cards.
Chookagian's kickboxing was too much for Maia. Her reach advantage played a major role once again as she was adept at striking from a distance and moving out of the way before Maia could close the distance and retaliate.
She did mix some grappling in, scoring one takedown, but this was primarily a function of her typical stick-and-move plan.
With the win, Chookagian tied champion Valentina Shevchenko for most wins in the history of the women's flyweight division.
Viacheslav Borshchev def. Dakota Bush
With the first five fights of the night going to decision, Viacheslav Borshchev gave us our first finish of 2022.
And it came from a vicious body blow. The decorated kickboxer overcame some early takedowns to get the fight where he wanted it and made Dakota Bush pay with a crushing fist to the liver that had him on the floor immediately.
The two got off to a fast and furious start, with both looking to establish dominance early.
Bush's two early takedowns gave him an opportunity, but he couldn't hold the striker down. As it turns out, he would pay dearly for it.
Not a bad UFC debut for Borschev, who scored a second-round knockout on Dana White's Contender Series to earn his UFC contract.
Bill Algeo def. Joanderson Brito
"Senor Perfecto" Bill Algeo wasn't necessarily perfect but did enough to edge Joanderson Brito in a unanimous decision to kick off the main card.
Brito had a strong start to the fight. He scored two takedowns in the first round and threatened with a rear-naked choke that turned out to be his best opportunity to win.
Algeo rebounded in the second and third rounds. Brito started finding a home for some heavy punches on the feet, but Algeo countered with a takedown in each round that resulted in control time and points in his pocket.
The 32-year-old is now 2-2 in four UFC fights. He has alternated wins and losses over his last seven fights. He'll need to find a way to win two in a row if he wants to start building some real momentum.