FEATHERWEIGHT FIREWORKS BETWEEN
(#5) CALVIN KATTAR AND (#8) GIGA CHIKADZE
KICK OFF NEW YEAR AT UFC APEX
MUSLIM SALIKHOV vs. MICHEL PEREIRA
(#2) KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN vs. (#4) JENNIFER MAIA
(#5) BRANDON ROYVAL vs. (#7) ROGERIO BONTORIN
UFC® kicks off 2022 with a thrilling featherweight contenders’ bout that will see No. 5 ranked Calvin Kattar take on No. 8 Giga Chikadze. The co-main event will feature Muslim Salikhov squaring off with Michel Pereira in a battle of surging welterweight strikers.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: KATTAR vs. CHIKADZE will take place Saturday, Jan. 15 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The main card will be available on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, as well as simulcast in English and Spanish on ESPN+, starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. The prelims will kick off exclusively on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
Talented striker Kattar (22-5, fighting out of Methuen, Mass.) has firmly etched himself among the featherweight division’s toughest competitors. Throughout his UFC run, he has secured spectacular KO victories over Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas and Shane Burgos. Kattar now has his sights set on defending his spot in the rankings by becoming the first fighter to knock out Chikadze.
Decorated kickboxer Chikadze (14-2, fighting out of Tbilisi, Georgia) wasted no time cracking into the featherweight elite since joining the UFC roster. Currently riding a nine-fight win streak, he has delivered memorable KO wins against Edson Barboza, Cub Swanson and Jamey Simmons. Chikadze now aims to secure the biggest victory of his career to enter the division’s top five.
Multiple-time Sanda world champion Salikhov (18-2, fighting out of Buynaksk, Dagestan, Russia) has proven to be among the most dynamic strikers in the UFC. Currently riding a five-fight win streak, he holds impressive wins over Francisco Trinaldo, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Nordine Taleb. Salikhov now looks for another impressive victory to set himself up for a top-15 opportunity.
All-action fighter Pereira (26-11 2NC, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) has proven to be among the most exciting fighters at 170 pounds. Throughout his UFC run, he has earned impressive victories against Niko Price, Khaos Williams and Danny Roberts. Pereira now intends to steal the show in his second UFC co-main event opportunity with another wild finish.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- Former women’s flyweight title challengers meet when No. 2 ranked Katlyn Chookagian (16-4, fighting out of Amity Harbor, N.Y. by way of Quakertown, Penn.) faces No. 4 Jennifer Maia (19-7-1, fighting out of Curitiba, PR, Brazil)
- No. 5 ranked flyweight contender Brandon Royval (12-6, fighting out of Englewood, Colo.) battles No. 7 Rogerio Bontorin (17-3 1NC, fighting out of Colombo, Parana, Brazil)
- Jake Collier (12-6, fighting out of Cuba, Mo.) locks horns with Chase Sherman (15-8, fighting out of D’Iberville, Miss.) at heavyweight
- Gabriel Benitez (22-10, fighting out of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) hopes to return to the win column when he meets TJ Brown (15-8, fighting out of Little Rock, Ark.) at featherweight
- Bill Algeo (14-6, fighting out of King of Prussia, Penn.) takes on Dana White’s Contender Series signee Joanderson Brito (12-2-1, fighting out of Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil) at featherweight
- The Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee (21-10, fighting out of Orem, Utah) goes for his 10th UFC win when he meets Ramiz Brahimaj (9-3, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) at welterweight
- Dakota Bush (8-3, fighting out of Cuba, Mo.) faces Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Viacheslav Borshchev (5-1, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif. by way of Volgograd, Russia) at lightweight
- Jamie Pickett (12-6, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.) takes on UFC newcomer Joseph Holmes (7-1, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) in a middleweight clash
- Brian Kelleher (23-12, fighting out of Selden, N.Y.) meets Saidyokub Kakhramonov (9-2, fighting out of Irvine, Calif. by way of Samarkand, Uzbekistan) in an intriguing bantamweight bout
- Strawweight prospects Silvana Juarez (10-3, fighting out of Tucuman, Argentina) and Vanessa Demopoulos (6-4, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) both vie for their first UFC victories
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