UFC Vegas 46: Kattar vs Chikadze (Reposted)

We are back at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas today for a great slate of action. This is the first card of 2022 after a massive year for the global leader in combat sports. This UFC card is headlined by featherweight contenders looking for a shot at gold next!

The write-up here will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It details our betting strategy for each fight and a prediction of what kind of bout we see.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

Lastly, if you are in search of even more DFS content be sure to visit DailyPlayAction.com! This site is dedicated to providing expert daily fantasy coaching as well as tools to optimize your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and PGA lineups. Check them out now if you play any FanDuel or DraftKings DFS.

Current Record

  • Anthony 2021: 299-200-5 (2020: 223-145-6)
  • Nick 2021: 305-194-5 (2020: 235-133-6)
  • GB 2021: 288-211-5 (2020: 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 9:15 AM EST 1-15-2021

Preliminary Card- Starts 5:00pm EST

TJ Brown -220 (DK $7100, FD $21) vs Charles Rosa +170 (DK $6800, FD $9)

  • Anthony: The card opens with a bout at featherweight between TJ Brown and Charles Rosa. This matchup came together on short notice as Rosa takes the place of Gabriel Benitez. It really surprises me to see such a wide betting line here despite the limited camp for Rosa. We have seen Rosa very active in the past and I am not all that worried about his cardio in a matchup like this. Brown is very talented with skills in a lot of positions, but I do feel that Rosa is going to have the advantage in most grappling exchanges. It is likely going to be a fight that goes fifteen minutes and in a close decision there is certainly value on the underdog. On a full camp I would be all over Rosa here, so he is my lean to get his hand raised. Brown has not put together any performances that impressed me to this point. I would get a good share of Brown on DraftKings though regardless as he is severely underpriced. Charles Rosa by Decision
  • Nick: Charles Rosa is taking this fight on just a few days’ notice as Gabriel Benitez was forced to pull out due to injury. Rosa fights very light-footed out of a karate style stance. He seems to finally have his timing down, and against mediocre strikers he does a good job managing distance and staying out of danger. Rosa is a BJJ blackbelt, but he struggles to regain position off his back. He finds most of his success striking at range, but he relies more on volume than power. TJ Brown is well-rounded, but he is extremely inconsistent. He’s coming off a controversial decision win over Kai Kamaka. He has sneaky power for a featherweight, but he takes a lot of damage in exchanges. On the feet, Rosa should have a slight advantage here. However, he also has a shaky 37 percent takedown defense. Most of his recent losses have come against grapplers and I expect that could spell trouble for him here against a competent wrestler like Brown. TJ Brown averages more than 4 takedowns per 15 minutes. He carries a solid 58 percent takedown accuracy during his UFC tenure, and he’s facing an opponent in Rosa that coach James Krause has already beat. I expect Brown to lean on his grappling here and as long as he focuses on controlling position, I expect him to pull out a win. Brown is too cheap on DraftKings as he was initially priced as an underdog. The line feels way off, but I still see him as the rightful favorite. TJ Brown by Decision
  • GB: TJ Brown by Decision

Brian Kelleher -310 (DK $7500, FD $23) vs Kevin Croom +240 (DK $6700, FD $8)

  • Anthony: Next we have another bout at featherweight between Brian Kelleher and Kevin Croom. This is a short notice appearance for Croom who steps in replacing Saidyokub Kakhramonov. Kelleher had a good fight week drawing an easier opponent than he had anticipated and also getting an extra ten-pound allowance on the scale. Neither one of these guys are very technical strikers but Kelleher has a lot of power in his hands. Both are more defined in the grappling department where Kelleher boasts conservative wrestling and a tight squeeze when he decides to chase the choke. Croom is more unpredictable in scrambles but certainly a dangerous opponent to roll with for too long. I think Kelleher is the superior athlete and he likely gets the job done here. He should be in control of most early positions on the mat. There is almost no reason to pay for Kelleher on FanDuel, but on DraftKings he is one of the best available options based on his $7500 price tag. Brian Kelleher by Round One Submission
  • Nick: Kelleher’s greatest strengths are his KO Power and his outstanding guillotine choke. While he can put opponents away with his hands, he can be over-aggressive at times and as a result he leaves himself open to counter-shots. He’s fun to watch because he’s willing to take damage, but against advanced strikers he often finds himself on the wrong end of exchanges. Luckily for him, he won’t be dealing with that type of threat in this matchup. Croom is decent on the feet, but Kelleher should have a significant power advantage when this fight is standing. Additionally, Kelleher has the more powerful wrestling base and a clear BJJ advantage if his fight hits the mat. I expect James Krause to provide Croom with an intelligent plan of attack in this spot. However, Kelleher certainly feels like the rightful favorite. He has faced a much higher level of competition and I expect him to outclass Croom no matter where this one goes. Additionally, Croom is at a disadvantage as he’s taking this fight on short notice. Kelleher is one of the best DraftKings plays on the slate as he was initially priced as an underdog. I like him a lot here. Brian Kelleher by Round One Submission
  • GB: Brian Kelleher by Decision

Ramiz Brahimaj -125 (DK $7900, FD $15) vs Court McGee +105 (DK $8300, FD $16)

  • Anthony: This should be a great welterweight bout between Court McGee and Ramiz Brahimaj. Here we have a rather young, developing prospect facing the veteran gatekeeper McGee. The UFC debut for McGee came back in 2010 on The Ultimate Fighter but he has continued to grind out wins at the highest level ever since. His only bout in 2021 was an impressive win over Claudio Silva that really gave us a vintage McGee performance. Despite that though he is still a mere 2-5 in his last seven fights and clearly declining at the age of 37. Brahimaj bounced back with a win of his own last August, submitting Sasha Palatnikov. Brahimaj is easy to trust in grappling exchanges, but he is also continuing to improve in the standup through his training at Fortis MMA. I do not think Brahimaj submits a guy like McGee in this spot, but I do think the younger athlete can outwork McGee and get his hand raised after a fifteen-minute battle. He certainly should be in control of most positions if this does end up hitting the mat. Ramiz Brahimaj by Decision
  • Nick: Court McGee likes to pressure his opponents. He’s a decent striker, mostly because he can eat shots in order to throw them. He rarely looks crisp on the feet, but his solid chin allows him to find spots that otherwise might not be there for him. He has decent entries for takedowns, and he’s stronger than a lot of the other middling contenders in this division. He’s getting up there in age, but he looked excellent his last time out winning a convincing decision over Claudio SIlva. He seems to be in the best shape he has been in years, and he’ll look to continue to build momentum here against a talented up-and-comer in Brahimaj. Ramiz Brahimaj is coming off an impressive submission win over Sasha Palatnikov. He’s primarily a grappler with all nine of his professional wins coming via submission. On the feet he has sneaky power and he pushes at a good pace, but seems very willing to take damage in exchanges. This should be an even matchup when standing, and McGee has effective enough defensive grappling ability to avoid submission. I still expect Brahimaj can find takedowns if he needs them, but he’ll need to effectively manage his cardio as McGee never seems to gas out. This is a close fight and a tough one to call, but I’m siding with the experienced McGee here. He’s going to have a slight advantage on the feet and he’s never been submitted. He should be able to negate Brahmiaj’s greatest strength, win the majority of the striking exchanges, and ultimately grind out the win. Court McGee by Decision
  • GB: Ramiz Brahimaj by Decision

Joseph Holmes -150 (DK $8600, FD $18) vs Jamie Pickett +125 (DK $7600, FD $13)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim is a middleweight scrap between Joseph Holmes and Jamie Pickett. We saw Pickett get a much-needed win in his last time out as he beat Laureano Staropoli as a sizeable underdog. While the athleticism is there for Pickett, his striking still looks a bit rudimentary and I do not think is a particularly imposing force in this weight division. While his resume beats that of the debuting Holmes, it still lacks much depth or wins against top competitors. Holmes finished two fights in October and November of last year in order to secure his UFC contract. The prospect has great size for this division and certainly a lot of power in his hands. Holmes has a more aggressive style than Pickett, but both men are rather measured when it comes to throwing down. This feels like a matchup that could result in a lot of standing around unless one man decides to take risks early. With Holmes dishing out a bit more volume and power than Pickett, I think he is the one that ends up getting his hand raised. However, neither fighter has shown me much to like and this is not a pick I am making confidently. Joseph Holmes by Decision
  • Nick: We have what should be a fun matchup here between two guys that prefer to stand and trade. Joseph Holmes will be making his UFC debut here, coming off an impressive KO win over Jhonoven Pati in Fury FC. He’s primarily a striker, but he’s well-rounded with five of his seven professional wins coming via submission. Pickett carries serious power on the feet, but defensively he leaves a lot to be desired. He absorbs more than five strikes per minute and he’s starting to develop a reputation as a slow starter. He’s coming off a convincing decision win as a +185 underdog against Laureano Starapoli. He seemed more aggressive in that spot, so it seems he may have corrected some of the flaws we saw in his earlier UFC matchups. This is a close fight that could certainly go either way, but I’m siding with Pickett as an underdog here. He looked much bigger than Holmes at weigh-ins and there’s really no denying he’s been tested against a much higher level of competition. I’ll have shares of Holmes for DFS purposes as he’s certainly live for a finish, but the play for me is Pickett here. I expect he’ll land the more damaging shots in exchanges and tire Holmes against the cage until he finds an opening for a finish. Jamie Pickett by Round Three KO
  • GB: Joseph Holmes by Round Two KO

Main Card- Starts 7:00pm EST

Joanderson Brito -145 (DK $8600, FD $17) vs Bill Algeo +120 (DK $7600, FD $13)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with a fight at featherweight between Joanderson Brito and Bill Algeo. This is the UFC debut for Brito who enters with a solid record and recent win on Dana White’s Contender Series. He is a shorter, powerfully built fighter that has had no problem slicing his way through the regional promotions. He is a very solid prospect training under the tutelage of Chute Boxe Bauru. While the forward pressure of Brito likely keeps Algeo on his heels, I think that movement and volume can keep him in this fight. Algeo has some very solid kickboxing and a good arsenal of weapons given his size in this weight class. While his resume is not all that pretty, I think that Algeo is more reliable defensively than the man he faces today. It is also tough to gauge Brito’s talent given the level of competition he has beaten. Brito will need to conserve energy here in the event this fight sees a round three. Algeo should have an advantage here the longer he can survive, and I think at these odds he is the pick I am ultimately going to land on. I think volume and precision outlasts power to get the job done here. Bill Algeo by Decision
  • Nick: Joanderson Brito will be making his UFC debut here, coming off a Contender Series win over Diego Lopez. He dominated early in that fight, but saw his cardio start to fade as the fight wore on. Even though he was slowing down he did keep pushing forward and ultimately showed enough to the UFC brass to earn a contract. Algeo’s striking looks solid offensively, but he often seems to leave himself open to counter-shots. He has a long frame, but he doesn’t fully utilize his reach advantage as he throws a lot of crosses and looping hooks. He puts together effective combos, but he often leaves his hands down too low against good counter punchers. Algeo has underrated offensive grappling as a BJJ black belt. If this fight does hit the mat he should be able to at the very least hang with Brito here. I expect Brito to look good early here, but Algeo’s cardio advantages should once again carry him to victory. As long as he’s careful early, he should start to pull away in the later rounds. Brito is dangerous, but Algeo has only been finished once professionally – back in 2014 when he was clubbed-and-subbed by a currently ranked featherweight in Shane Burgos. Another tough one to call, but I prefer the underdog. I see Algeo as durable enough to hang early and then take over late. Bill Algeo by Decision
  • GB: Joanderson Brito by Round One KO

Viacheslav Borshchev -200 (DK $9000, FD $20) vs Dakota Bush +160 (DK $7200, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Next we have a matchup at lightweight between Viacheslav Borshchev and Dakota Bush. Borshchev is a mere 5-1 as a professional mixed martial artist but has garnered a lot of hype after his knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series last year. He put on display his quick entries and very fast hands in that bout. Borshchev is a decorated kickboxer that has already realized a world championship in K-1. It will be crucial for Bush to ground Borshchev early in this fight in order to test his grappling acumen. In a pure striking affair Borshchev should win this fight nine times out of ten, but Bush is a very live underdog if able to ground and control Borshchev on the mat. The Russian has displayed solid takedown defense thus far so I feel confident backing him once again here. Bush has already been exposed by worst strikers than this in the past. Viacheslav Borshchev by Round Three KO
  • Nick: Primarily a grappler, four of Bush’s eight professional wins have come by submission. He does a good job pressuring his opponents and knowing when to shoot for takedowns. Bush is coming off a hard-fought loss in his UFC debut to Austin Hubbard. He looked good early but seemed to start to fade as the fight wore on. Additionally, he seemed reluctant to try and grapple. Viecheslav Borshchev will be making his UFC debut here following an impressive win over a highly regarded prospect in Chris Duncan. Borshchev is primarily a kickboxer. He throws extremely powerful shots with all of his limbs and he seems to have excellent head movement and footwork when striking at range. As talented as he is on the feet, his grappling leaves a lot to be desired. He recently shifted camps to Team Alpha Male to focus on his wrestling, but he’s going to have trouble against the stronger wrestlers in this division. Bush has a clear path to pull off the upset here if he can execute a wrestling heavy game plan and keep Borshchev on his back. I expect Borshchev to have a considerable advantage here when this fight is standing. However, I see Bush as a considerable step up in competition. As long as he doesn’t stand and trade with Borschev, I see him pulling off the upset. Dakota Bush by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Viacheslav Borshchev by Round Two KO

Katlyn Chookagian -200 (DK $8900, FD $18) vs Jennifer Maia +160 (DK $7300, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Here we have a fight at women’s flyweight between Jennifer Maia and Katlyn Chookagian. This is a rematch of a fight in 2019 that saw Chookagian get her hand raised by unanimous decision. Chookagian came in heavy on the scales for that matchup but ultimately got her hand raised and a title shot not long after. She was able to control position and win that bout by taking less risks than Maia, a gameplan that likely gets emulated here today. Chookagian has been the far more active of these two and boasts a very impressive resume when you consider the strength of her losses. She has looked great in her last two performances and I am rather confident in Chookagian extending that win streak here today. Katlyn Chookagian by Decision
  • Nick: This fight is a rematch of a 2019 match-up in which Chookagian won via unanimous decision. Katlyn Chookagian is a well-rounded fighter with a formidable point-striking style. She isn’t always the most exciting fighter to watch, but she fights smart, peppering opponents and letting the fight come to her. She’s most comfortable on the feet and has continued to show considerable improvements over the past few years. She seems stronger than she ever has before, and she’s coming off back-to-back impressive wins over Cynthia Calvillo and Viviane Araujo. Maia throws a lot of volume as a striker and she is more than willing to eat shots to throw them. She has decent grappling ability as well, but she’s more comfortable fighting on the feet. When this fight is standing, I see Chookagian’s defensive style winning out. Maia has a path to victory if she leans on her grappling here, but getting the takedown has been an area of concern. I don’t expect she scores well for DFS, but I’m confident in Chookagian scoring a win here. Katlyn Chookagian by Decision
  • GB: Katlyn Chookagian by Decision

Brandon Royval -170 (DK $8800, FD $19) vs Rogerio Bontorin +140 (DK $7400, FD $17)

  • Anthony: This should be a fun flyweight scrap between Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin. Royval has been finished in two straight bouts but finds himself favored in the matchup here this evening. He is the much longer and bigger fighter, but it also seems that Royval is much more comfortable making this weight cut. Bontorin looked very drained at weigh-ins yesterday and I find it hard to trust him here against a cardio machine like Royval. Both guys have been in the cage with very solid opponents but when it comes to development I would say Royval is further along. The team at factoryX should have him well prepared for this fight and I am expecting he gets back on track with a win here. He should control things for the most part on the feet but I also think Royval is live to lock up a submission on the shooting Bontorin. Brandon Royval by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Royval is one of the more aggressive fighters there is on the roster. He starts fights like he’s shot out of a cannon. He is well-rounded with a solid chin but his crafty BJJ and dangerous offensive grappling ability is certainly his greatest strength. Eight of Royval’s twelve professional wins have come by way of submission. He’s coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, but they came to two of the best flyweights in the world in Alexandre Pantoja and current champion, Brandon Moreno. Like Royval, Bontorin is extremely aggressive. He usually comes out firing, pushes a ridiculous pace and by most accounts has more power than the majority of the other flyweights. He’s solid on the feet, but his offensive grappling is his greatest strength as a BJJ black belt with eleven of his seventeen professional wins coming by way of submission. This is a Fight of the Night candidate for sure and Bontorin live for an upset here as he has a significant power advantage over Royval. That being said, I expect this fight to mostly take place on the mat where Royval will win the scrambles. I’ll have shares of both fighters for DFS purposes, but Royval is the pick. If you’re betting on this card, I also like the under here. Brandon Royval by Round One Submission
  • GB: Brandon Royval by Round Two Submission

Jake Collier -140 (DK $8500, FD $16) vs Chase Sherman +115 (DK $7700, FD $15)

  • Anthony: We have a rather laughable co-main event here at heavyweight between Jake Collier and Chase Sherman. These are two low-level competitors that seem to always throw down in close contests. Collier has rounded out his career with fights in this division after fighting for a long time at 185 pounds. He is clearly not in peak physical condition but Collier still has rather surprising speed and volume for his frame. Sherman is a guy that can hit hard but does not do much else very well. He has rather mediocre footwork and a suspect gas tank that has cost him in the last two bouts he fought. Certainly he can put together a combination that hurts Collier, but over the course of fifteen minutes I think the more technical fighter wins out. I will side ever so slightly with Collier here but this is not going to be pretty. Jake Collier by Decision
  • Nick: No matter how you slice it, this is a low-level match-up at heavyweight. Sherman is a powerful striker and usually comes out firing early. He’s coming off back-to-back losses to Andrei Arlovski and Parker Porter. He had moments in each fight, but his conditioning seemed to fail him as the rounds wore on. He has a terrible gas tank, which means he really relies on early KOs to secure wins at this level. Collier is the more technical striker in this match-up and he certainly has the better gas tank. As a former middleweight, he doesn’t really have finishing power in his new division. Still, he does a good job putting consistent damage and pressure on his opponents. Sherman is going to be live for an early KO here, but Collier is going to start to take over as this fight wears on. I just don’t see Sherman as having the type of power it’s going to take to put Collier out quick, so Collier is my pick to grind out an ugly decision. This is one of my least confident picks on the card, but Collier appears to be the rightful favorite. Jake Collier by Decision
  • GB: Chase Sherman by Round Three KO

Giga Chikadze -230 (DK $9300, FD $22) vs Calvin Kattar +185 (DK $6900, FD $14)

  • Anthony: The main event should be a good one at featherweight as Giga Chikadze takes on Calvin Katter. These are two elite fighters among the best of the division, potentially squaring off for a shot at the champion next. Chikadze has won all seven of his fights inside of the UFC. Rather soft competition had me questioning Chikadze at first but having disposed of Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza so easily, it is clear his ceiling is incredibly high. Chikadze is going to have the technical advantage against almost any striker he faces. With Kattar having a boxing-oriented approach, I think Chikadze lands far more diverse weapons over the course of this fight. Knowing how durable Katter is, its likely we see Giga dish out healthy body work and kicks to the liver early. I see him landing at a healthy clip against Katter and being touched relatively little. Chikadze has crisp attacks on offense that are difficult to differentiate when standing across from him. I see Kattar noticeably struggling once again while facing a high-pressure opponent. Giga Chikadze by Round Two KO
  • Nick: This is an excellent main event match-up between two of the UFC’s more technically gifted strikers. Giga Chikadze is coming off seven-straight UFC Wins, including a signature victory his last time out via KO over a decorated vet in Edson Barboza. Chikadze is an extremely high-level kickboxer with excellent range. He throws extremely powerful kicks and his countering ability is extremely advanced. Calvin Kattar is a high-level boxer, coming off a brutal loss to Max Holloway in which he was battered for five rounds. He took a long time off after that loss, so it’s tough to know exactly what version we see of him here. While Kattar may have a slight advantage here if this was strictly a boxing match, Chikadze’s kicking ability makes him the far more dangerous striker. Additionally, Kattar may be able to ground Chikadze, but as a BJJ brown-belt I don’t expect Chikadze to allow Kattar to keep position. Kattar is underrated here, but Chikadze is the pick. His ability to use kicks so effectively is likely to be the difference here. Four limbs are better than two, elite-level kickboxers have clear advantages over elite traditional boxers. Giga Chikadze by Decision
  • GB: Giga Chikadze by Round Two KO

*Anthony, Nick and GB play on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and although they express their opinions, they may also implement other plays and strategies without notice

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