Under The Radar Fights For UFC Fight Night: Kattar VS. Chikadze

The first UFC card in 2022 starts with a bang pitting former GLORY kickboxer and surging featherweight contender Giga "Ninja" Chikadze (14-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) looking to ride his undefeated UFC streak to 8 against the New England Cartel's finest Calvin "The Boston Finisher" Kattar (22-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC). A big step towards title contention with Kattar coming off his brutal loss to former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and a finish over Chikadze would put him right back into the picture. A finish victory for Chikadze would not only send the country of Georgia into euphoria, Giga will be looking for a potential title shot inside 2022. The co-main slot is held by two of the best female flyweights looking for another shot at Valentina Shevchenko's crown with #2 flyweight Kaitlyn "Blonde Fighter" Chookagian (16-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and Jennifer Maia (19-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC). Both woman have bounced back nicely after the losses to Shevchenko with Chookagian winning 3 out of her last 4 and Maia with an impressive win over longtime contender Jessica Eye. The fights the UFC are bringing into 2022 are bringing the heat with multiple fight of the night and maybe even fight of the year contenders on the prelims and early main card. 2021 was a promising year and the first fight night of the new year will capitalize on the momentum.

Jamie Pickett VS. Joseph Holmes

The man they call "Ugly Man Joe" and the short but stylish handlebar mustache to match, first made his appearance on the 6th week of Dana White's Contender Series back in October with a 2nd round submission win over Shonte Barnes but walked away without a contract. Soon after, the Glory MMA product squared off against former DWCS alum Jhonovan Pati on a Dana White's Looking For A Fight card only a month after his DWCS appearance and with a 1st round KO win, is now making his short notice UFC debut. Being tall for a middleweight standing at 6'4 with a 80" inch and has solid submission game seen with his 6 wins coming by ways of submission. With his length, Holmes is able to fight behind a jab and control range but fighting Jamie "The Night Wolf" Pickett (12-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is beyond an easy fight. The 3 time veteran of the Contender Series himself, the 33 year old out of Port City Sports Performance stumbled out of the gate with his UFC run with two straight losses to both Tafon Nchukwi and Jordan Wright but picked up the much needed first win over Laureno Staropoli. With dynamite with his hands and the grit to bite down on his mouthpiece with all but 3 wins coming by way of KO/TKO. With a clash of striking styles between 2 tall middleweights, either Holmes makes a stand in his UFC debut and pulls away with a massive feather in his cap or Pickett can spoil the party and earn himself his first win streak inside of the UFC.

Dakota Bush VS. Viacheslav Borshchev

Being one of the shining stars coming out of the 5th season of Dana White's Contender Series, Viacheslav "Slava Claus" Borshchev (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) stood out through the bunch after stopping Bellator alum Chris Duncan in the second round via KO. Coming out of Team Alpha Male, his wrestling is his definite weak point but his striking looks to be on another level in his debut. Starting his MMA career only 2 years ago, Viacheslav has racked up five wins and fast-tracked himself to his UFC debut against Dakota "Hairy" Bush (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Bush had a rough UFC debut against Team Elevation product Austin Hubbard where he lacked the cardio to continue the pace he put on in the first, losing an unanimous decision back in April of 2020. For his sophomore appearance on the big show, Bush has made the full time move to James Krause's team at Glory MMA which has become a new hotbed for UFC talent with names such as Julian Marquez and Grant Dawson finding success through the training under Krause. Bush will need all the grappling prowess he can get with a striker like Borshchev against him, in a stacked lightweight division both fighters need to make an impact on the 15th. Will it be Borshchev carrying his hot streak from the Contender Series or will Dakota notch his first UFC win with emphatic impact?

Brandon Royval VS. Rogerio Bontorin

A pivotal matchup for the stacked flyweight division sees former LFA flyweight champion and always exciting #5 ranked Brandon "Raw Dawg" Royval (12-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) against DWCS Brazil alum and the #7 ranked flyweight Rogerio Bontorin (17-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC). Royval came into the UFC with much fan faire and exceeded expectations with 2 performance of the night bonuses with a 2nd round submission win over Tim Elliott in his debut and followed it up with a submission over Aussie standout Kai Karq France in his sophomore outing. He has stumbled as of late with dropping two stoppage losses to the higher echelon of the division in current UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and potential title challenger Alexandre Pantoja and is looking to rebound his way back into the win column. Bontorin is a submission specialist and earned his way onto the UFC roster with a 2nd round rear naked choke win back in 2018 on the Brazilian edition of DWCS. After winning his first two fights in the promotion against current ACA bantamweight champion Magomed Bibulatov and Raulian Paiva, Bontorin also ran into a wall with higher ranked fighter and suffering only his 2nd and 3rd professional losses to the hands and legs of Ray Borg and Kai Kara France. Recently out pointing TUF Season 24 alum on route to a unanimous decision back in May of 2021, he looks to carry his momentum to a winning streak in a stacked flyweight division's top 5 while Royval looks to capture the lightning in a bottle like his first two fights in the UFC.

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