5 biggest winners from UFC Fight Night: Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze

Calvin Kattar was last night's biggest winner following his victory over Giga Chikadze
Calvin Kattar was last night's biggest winner following his victory over Giga Chikadze

Last night saw the first UFC Fight Night show of 2022, as Calvin Kattar battled Giga Chikadze in the headliner. Overall, the event was an up-and-down one.

On one hand, the headline bout was fantastic and may well turn out to be one of the better UFC fights of the year. On the other hand, the remainder of the card was largely forgettable.

As always, there were a number of big winners at this event. Those fighters are likely to climb the ladder – potentially into title contention – thanks to their victories.

With that in mind, here are the five biggest winners from UFC Fight Night: Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze.


#5. Katlyn Chookagian – defeated Jennifer Maia in a UFC flyweight bout

Katlyn Chookagian looked impressive in her win over Jennifer Maia, even without a finish
Katlyn Chookagian looked impressive in her win over Jennifer Maia, even without a finish

It almost certainly won’t earn her another crack at flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, but Katlyn Chookagian’s victory over Jennifer Maia last night was definitely impressive. Maia had arguably given Shevchenko one of her toughest tests when they fought in 2020, but Chookagian basically whitewashed the Brazilian.

‘Blonde Fighter’ didn’t come close to gaining her first stoppage inside the octagon. However, the truth is, that at this stage, it’s probably safe to say that she just isn’t a finisher.

Despite that, she did work her long striking to ensure that Maia was kept at a distance. She took Maia down and controlled her on numerous occasions too.

Quite where Chookagian goes from here is anyone’s guess. Ranked as the No.2 flyweight in the promotion, it’s safe to say that she’s a genuinely elite fighter, but her lack of finishes will always prevent her from becoming a genuine star.

If she can continue to win tough fights like this, though, there’s no chance of the UFC looking to let her go any time soon. In the current climate, that might be the best possible thing for her – meaning she was definitely one of last night’s big winners.

#4. Viacheslav Borshchev – defeated Dakota Bush in a UFC lightweight bout

Viacheslav Borshchev picked up an impressive finish of Dakota Bush in his octagon debut
Viacheslav Borshchev picked up an impressive finish of Dakota Bush in his octagon debut

Few people were paying attention to the UFC debut of the curiously nicknamed Viacheslav Borshchev last night. ‘Slava Claus’ stepped into the octagon for the first time to take on Dakota Bush.

After his performance, though, he should garner quite a substantial amount of hype. Even if he doesn’t, he probably won’t mind today. After all, he was able to claim one of the event’s post-fight bonuses, taking home an extra $50k from the UFC in the process.

Borshchev looked genuinely excellent inside the octagon. Despite giving up a couple of early takedowns to Bush, he wasted no time in dispatching him on the feet. A brutal body shot was the killer blow as it dropped the more experienced Bush instantly and forced UFC referee Herb Dean to step in.

Quite how far Borshchev can go in the lightweight division is an absolute mystery. Given Bush was already 0-1 in the octagon, a victory over him may not mean all that much.

However, the fact that he trains with Team Alpha Male probably bodes well for his grappling to improve in the near future. Judging by this, he hits hard enough to be a threat to most opponents. Either way, this was an excellent start for his career on the big stage.


#3. Jake Collier – defeated Chase Sherman in a UFC heavyweight bout

Jake Collier claimed a $50k bonus for his win over Chase Sherman
Jake Collier claimed a $50k bonus for his win over Chase Sherman

Once a pretty svelte 185lber, it’s probably safe to say that Jake Collier won’t be winning any bodybuilding contests in the near future.

Now tipping the scales at 264lbs, ‘The Prototype’ looked to be in poor physical condition for last night’s fight with Chase Sherman. In the end, it didn’t matter at all as he whitewashed ‘The Vanilla Gorilla’ en route to a first round win.

Essentially, the bout couldn’t have gone much easier for Collier. Just about two minutes had passed in the fight when he caught a kick and took Sherman down. From there, he worked him over on the ground, passing to back mount before applying a rear-naked choke for the tapout.

The truth is that being in such questionable shape will probably catch up with Collier at some point. Realistically, it already did when he lost to both Carlos Felipe and Tom Aspinall in his earlier UFC heavyweight bouts.

However, this win over Sherman not only saved his UFC career – he probably would’ve been cut with a loss – but it also made him $50k richer thanks to the fact that he produced one of just two finishes last night. Who can really complain about that?

#2. Brandon Royval – defeated Rogerio Bontorin in a UFC flyweight bout

Brandon Royval's aggressive grappling led him to a win over Rogerio Bontorin
Brandon Royval's aggressive grappling led him to a win over Rogerio Bontorin

It seems bizarre to suggest that a UFC fighter who snapped a two-fight losing streak with his win last night may now be in title contention. However, that’s definitely the case with Brandon Royval, who picked up a decision over Rogerio Bontorin.

‘Raw Dawg’ debuted in the octagon in 2020 with two straight wins. A pair of losses to Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja derailed him last year, leaving him at a crossroads of sorts.

However, those two fighters are probably two of the best three flyweights in the world right now – Moreno of course holds the flyweight title – so fans probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see Royval look excellent in his win last night.

It wasn’t a flawless performance by any means, as Bontorin took him down largely at will, leaving Royval to fight off his back for the most part.

However, the constant pressure and submission attempts from ‘Raw Dawg’ were more than enough to earn him a win. This was particularly the case as Bontorin actually appeared to have tapped out to an armbar in the third round.

Whether or not Royval can work his way into UFC title contention is still up for debate, as he’ll probably need at least one more big win yet. Regardless, this was definitely an excellent way for him to get his career back on track.


#1. Calvin Kattar – defeated Giga Chikadze in a UFC featherweight bout

Calvin Kattar proved himself as one of the best featherweights in the world with his win over Giga Chikadze
Calvin Kattar proved himself as one of the best featherweights in the world with his win over Giga Chikadze

Last night’s biggest winner was definitely Calvin Kattar. He outpointed Giga Chikadze in what will probably go down as an early contender for 2022’s ‘Fight of the Year’.

Despite having an arguably superior record to his opponent, many fans seemed to be writing off ‘The Boston Finisher’. This was perhaps because he hadn’t fought in the octagon since his loss this time last year to former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

However, Kattar clearly hadn’t missed a beat when it came down to fight time. He weathered an early storm from Chikadze, and ate up some heavy strikes from ‘The Ninja’ throughout the fight. Most importantly, he clearly got the better of the Georgian in all areas.

The first round saw Kattar take Chikadze down to wear him out somewhat. The following four rounds then saw him work the Georgian over with some stiff jabs, and most notably some brutal step-in elbow strikes.

Those shots added up to cause some serious damage to Chikadze. In the end, he was left with a right eye so swollen that he was unable to open it. Quite how long it’ll take him to recover from such a beatdown is anyone’s guess.

For Kattar, though, the only way is now up. ‘The Boston Finisher’ has to be seen as one of the premier featherweights in the UFC. This win should set him up for a big fight against someone like Yair Rodriguez or Brian Ortega.

More to the point, he’s now proven himself to be a reliable and exciting headline act for the UFC. This should guarantee him more opportunities and probably money later down the line. For Kattar, this win was essentially priceless.

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Edited by John Cunningham
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