After capping off an insanely busy 2021, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off its 2022 this Saturday (Jan. 15, 2022) in the familiar stomping grounds of UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Vegas 46’s main event pits kickboxing ace Giga Chikadze and his unbeaten Octagon record against Calvin Katter, last seen out-classing Dan Ige over five rounds. The other fight of note is Flyweight fireworks getting sparked between Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin.
What better way to start the year off than by beefing up your wallet? Here’s how ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 45?
It sucks to end the year on a loss, but at least it was less than $20. The bets were set up such that only two of four needed to hit to make a profit; unfortunately, Raoni Barcelos’ fight getting canceled meant that Mateusz Gamrot’s, Don’Tayle Mayes’ and Charles Jourdain’s successful efforts weren’t quite enough to even things out.
We almost had something with that Justin Tafa/Macy Chiasson parlay ... and it would have been very funny to see both of the scale failures come through.
UFC Vegas 46 Odds For The Under Card:
Court McGee (-115) vs. Ramiz Brahimaj (-105)
Joseph Holmes (-150) vs. Jamie Pickett (+130)
Gabriel Benitez (-190) vs. T.J. Brown (+160)
Brian Kelleher (N/A) vs. Kevin Croom (N/A)
Viacheslav Borshchev (-180) vs. Dakota Bush (+155)
Vanessa Demopoulos (-130) vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez (+110)
Thoughts: This may be competitive matchmaking, but there’s still value to be found, namely in Ramiz Brahimaj, Joseph Holmes, Viacheslav Borshchev and Silvana Gomez Juarez.
Court McGee has all of two wins in the last five years: over Alex Garcia, who always gasses on his own, and Claudio Silva, who also always gasses on his own. He’s also lost extremely winnable fights against Ben Saunders, Dhiego Lima and Carlos Condit along the way. That’s not exactly the most inspiring resume against a younger, ostensibly physically superior grappler like Brahimaj.
In short, “The Crusher” is way too inconsistent to be the favorite here, so capitalize on the bookies’ mistake.
The only things Jamie Pickett has going for him are height, reach and durability, and he’s not even that good at using the first two. Holmes — who’s taller than Pickett and has just as long a reach — is a capable boxer with far more consistent output. Even if Holmes might lack the wrestling to bring his submissions to bear, I’m confident he can outbox “Nightwolf” for a comfortable decision.
Though Borshchev still has a lot to prove, he’s got exactly the sort of skillset to take apart Dakota Bush. He’s the faster, more technical and more powerful striker by a huge margin, not to mention very adept at scrambling back to his feet. Between Bush’s iffy cardio and his inability to out-wrestle Austin Hubbard, who gets manhandled by takedown specialists on a regular basis, all signs point to Borshchev demolishing him.
As far as Gomez Juarez, she’s a more capable striker than Vanessa Demopoulos, who’s more game than technically sound. Plus, Demopoulos’ lethal submission game is undercut by her inability to hit takedowns. Don’t go too crazy, as Demopoulos is prone to comeback heroics, but it’s worth the investment.
Nevermind, that fight got pushed back a week. Slap Katlyn Chookagian on there instead; huge height and reach advantages.
UFC Vegas 46 Odds For The Main Card:
Giga Chikadze (-235) vs. Calvin Kattar (+190)
Katlyn Chookagian (-180) vs. Jennifer Maia (+155)
Brandon Royval (-160) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (+140)
Jake Collier (-130) vs. Chase Sherman (+110)
Joanderson Brito (-130) vs. Bill Algeo (+110)
Thoughts: As much as I admire and respect Kattar’s capacity for violence, I like the line on Chikadze quite a bit, plus those on Rogerio Bontorin and Jake Collier.
After several iffy performances, Chikadze has finally found his footing in the cage, and the results are terrifying. I’m not saying he’s Max Holloway, but his varied, long-range offense is something against which Kattar has struggled mightily in the past. Without the wrestling to take Chikadze’s kicks out of the equation, expect him to take apart “The Boston Finisher.”
Royval’s issues with a technically adept, physically powerful grappler in Alexandre Pantoja bode ill against another tank in Bontorin. Bontorin has the scrambling skills to keep pace with Royval and the better overall wrestling game, which should earn him a win.
I was very dismissive of Jake Collier when he first arrived in the Heavyweight division, but he’s won me over. While dismantling Gian Villante isn’t any sort of accomplishment, he did give Carlos Felipe everything he could handle. Sherman, on the other hand, is 1-5 in his last six Octagon bouts and the one win was over an underwhelming Light Heavyweight in Ike Villanueva.
So here we go: Gimme a bit on “The Prototype.”
UFC Vegas 46 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Joseph Holmes and Viacheslav Borshchev: Bet $80 to make $127.20
- Parlay — Ramiz Brahimaj and Jake Collier: Bet $80 to make $196
- Parlay — Giga Chikadze and Katlyn Chookagian: Bet $80 to make $97.40
- Parlay — Giga Chikadze and Rogerio Bontorin: Bet $60 to make $145.20
Honestly? Not terrible for a fight that COVID and injuries shredded to the bone. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Initial (Boosted) Investment For 2021: $600
Final Total For 2021: $2,637.16 (339.52% ROI)
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 46 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 46: “Kattar vs. Chikadze” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.