The UFC has finalized a big time matchup for their first main event of 2022. MMA Junkie was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion had finalized a featherweight headliner between Calvin Kattar (22-5) and Giga Chikadze (14-2).
The fight will headline a UFC Fight Night that is currently scheduled for January 15th. This headliner is almost a year exactly to the date from the last time that we saw Calvin Kattar inside the octagon.
On January 16th of this year, Kattar took on Max Holloway in the UFC‘s first headliner of 2021. Kattar was destroyed by Holloway who set virtually every significant striking record there is to set for a single fight in that matchup.
That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for Kattar. Kattar is 4-2 in his last six with his only two losses coming against Holloway and Zabit Magomedsharipov. After his loss in January, Kattar has taken the rest of the year off to recover and improve for his run starting in 2022.
Will Chikadze become UFC champion in 2022?
Getting the first headlining fight of 2022 is big news for Giga Chikadze. In all likelihood, he will be either be next in line for a title shot if he wins or he will be next in line for a title eliminator given the rest of the featherweight division.
Whoever wins the Max Holloway – Yair Rodriguez fight in November is going to get the next shot at UFC gold. That title fight will likely in happen in the spring of 2022. If Chikadze wins in January, he would line up nicely with the winner of that title fight.
Chikadze has been a perfect 7-0 in the UFC. In his last fight, he stopped Edson Barboza in the third round. That was by far the most impressive performance of Chikadze’s career and it came against his toughest opponent.
I’m expecting to see the best of both Chikadze and Kattar in January. This is a helluva main event that fight fans should be excited for.