Like many of us around the world during the festive period, UFC is on a bit of a break at the moment. Giving their employees and fighters some well-deserved time off to rest and recuperate after a pretty crazy two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started. That said, it’s not an incredibly long break with another UFC even just around the corner as we enter the New Year.

That event is going to be UFC Fight Night 200, which will take place at UFC APEX, Las Vegas, United States on January 15th, 2022. As with any Fight Night event, the cards aren’t as stacked as with the main UFC events, with the next one of those being UFC 270, which will be headlined by a heavyweight championship clash between current champions, Cameroonian Francis Ngannou and the French challenger, Ciryl Gane.

So what will UFC Fight Night 200 have in store for fans?

The Prelims

So far, two preliminary matches have been announced, the first being a bantamweight bout between American Brian “Boom” Kelleher and from Uzbekistan Saidyokub Kakhramonov. Kelleher is the veteran of the two, having fought 35 fights to Kakhramonov’s 11, meaning he will have experience on his side. However, they both have similar records going into this bout, with win percentages for KO/TKO of 35% and 33%, victories by submission at 43% and 44%, and both having 22% of their wins declared by judges decision. Meaning this could go either way.

The second preliminary match sees a lightweight bout between two newer fighters to the UFC. The American Dakota Bush, who has fought one and lost one since joining the UFC, and the Russian known as Slava Klaus, Viacheslav Borshchev, who also has one fight to his name in the UFC, but managed to win that to start his career with a perfect record. With so little known about both fighters, it again is a tough one to call, but if there was anyone to back, you go with Borshchev purely because he’s the only one of the two to actually register a win at the UFC.

The Main Card

The main card, much like the prelims, has only two matches confirmed. The first to warm up the main event for the night, sees is a welterweight bout that sees the 15th seed in the division, Russian fighter Muslim “King of Kung Fu” Salikhov take on the Brazilian, the “Demolidor” Michel Pereira Lima. As it stands, Lima is the favorite in this matchup at odds of -125 compared to Salikhov’s +105, but we don’t see it going that way.

Whilst Lima does have a height advantage over the Russian, as well as a better reach with three inches on his arm and 1 inch on his legs, we’re not too sure that’ll be enough to give him the win. Because just look at their records, Salikhov is 18-2, and of those wins, 67% have been by KO/TKO, showing he possesses pure power. Whereas Lima’s record is less impressive at 26-11 with two no contests, and he has a longer average fight time with a higher percentage for fights won by the judge’s decision. And we don’t think Lima will cope with Salikhov’s brute strength.

The Main Event – Kattar vs Chikadze

And the main event, the one you’ve all been waiting for, a featherweight bout to decide the next title challenger, the American Calvin Katter takes on the Georgian fighter, Giga “Ninja” Chikadze. As it stands, the American is seeded higher in the division right now, ranked at five, with Chikadze just behind him ranked eighth in the featherweight division

But that said, it is the “Ninja” who is the favorite with betting companies coming into this fight, having been given odds of -210, compared to +175 given to Kattar. You can make a wager at Caesars Sportsbook in NY with this fight that will determine the number one contender for the 145lbs Featherweight Championship.

Why bet with Caesar’s Sportsbook? Well, they’re one of the biggest players in the market just like these two fighters, having bought out William Hill in April 2021 for the princely sum of $4 billion, and there is a tonne of advantages to using them. They have various payment methods available, generous welcome bonuses, regular and exciting promotional offers so it’s not just newbies getting rewards, it offers live streaming of games in progress and they have a Caesars Rewards Program for frequent players.

But back to the fight itself, we have the odds of who is the favorite to win with sportsbooks, but how do we here at feel about the outcome of this contest?

Kattar vs Chikadze – Our Predictions

It’s a tough one to call because both fighters are evenly matched really. Kattar has more wins under his belt, but also because he has more fights in general, leaving him with a record of 22-5, compared to the 14-2 of Chikadze. But form can go out of the window in these types of fights where a title challenge is on the line because you have that little more to fight for, as you know if you can win the fight, then you are one step away from being champion.

Physically, Chikadze has the advantage. He’s taller, has better reach, and if you look at the number of fights won as a percentage by KO/TKO, he has significantly more than Kattar. That said, Kattar does have a higher significant strikes per minute record at 5.07 compared to the Georgian’s 3.76. Kattar also has a better defense when it comes to takedowns, but also absorbs more punches per minute. So that can be taken two ways.

Firstly, his defense against significant strikes is terrible, and he can’t block simple shots. Or, secondly, he can take the blows and allow his opponents to tie themselves out. The problem with the second is that if one of those blows he takes pop an eardrum or causes a cut around his eye or busts to open his nose, the fight becomes significantly harder to win.

That’s why, with their records, physical prowess, and the fact that Chikadze seems to do much better defensively, we see this win going to the Georgian. This means we will likely see Chikadze again soon at one of the main UFC events battling it out for the featherweight title.