The UFC Vegas 46 main card has come to an end after a pretty exciting set of fights that included a liver shot finish, and a heavyweight RNC, and a striking clinic from one striker to another. The main event was where the UFC’s #5 rated featherweight, Calvin Kattar, put hands and elbows on the #8 rated, Giga Chikadze, to earn a unanimous decision. Calvin pushed the pace, pumped out his jab, and built off of it with other punches and some nasty elbows to win every round. Giga showed off a tremendous amount of heart here, but tonight was a showcase performance for Kattar.
Before that, we got a heavyweight co-main event that saw Jake Collier tap out Chase Sherman with a rear-naked choke in the opening round. Jake got to work right away with his hands, caught a kick to get on top, dropped some bows and then snagged the neck. This victory took just under half-a-round, and in his post-fight interview requested for a match with the legend Andrei Arlovski. As soon as he said it, Michael Bisping informed him that Justin Tafa called him out. Collier said that if (super-heavyweight) Tafa can make weight, then they can get it on.
We got a war at the top of the flyweight division when the #5 ranked, Brandon Royval, walked away with a split decision victory over the #7 ranked, Rogerio Bontorin. Royval threw a bunch of volume at his opponent, but also had to endure several takedowns complete with some control. Down the stretch, it was Royval finding top position and dropping elbows that secured him the round and the win. Brandon is a ton of fun, throws a bunch of strikes, has an active guard, and just broke up a two-fight losing skid to start the year off right.
In the UFC’s women’s flyweight division we saw the #2 ranked, Katlyn Chookagian, out-strike and out-grapple the #4 ranked, Jennifer Maia, to take another unanimous decision over her. Chookagian only got stronger as the fight went on, and by the end of it, she was completely in control by keeping Maia at the end of her strikes. Now on a three-fight winning streak, Chookagian has already fought just about everyone at the top of the division, and stated in her post-fight interview that she is still willing to face anyone, regardless if she’s already competed against them or not.
Viacheslav Borshchev made good on his UFC debut by stopping Dakota Bush with a vicious body shot. The victory did not come without some adversity, though, as Bush rocked him early on with some well-placed leather. “Slava Claus” showed off some heart and some tremendous punching power, and then dazzled the crowd in celebration with some sizzling dance moves. This guy has superstar written all over him, so keep an eye out.
Kicking off the main card, Bill Algeo won a grueling war with Joanderson Brito, taking home a unanimous decision. Algeo deployed a rarely seen hand stomp to help him secure the victory. Now back in the win column, Bill used his mic time after the fight to call out tonight’s main event fighter, Giga Chikadze.
**See complete results below
Calvin Kattar def. Giga Chikadze by unanimous decision (50-45 x2, 50-44): Featherweight
Kattar looked to press forward right away, as Chikadze was trying to pick him off at range with explosive strikes. Giga slipped, and Calvin made the most of the situation by hitting a takedown and solidifying top position. Giga tried to scramble and improve his potion, but Kattar made all the right moves to stay in control and not allow Chikadze back to his feet.
Giga was working his kicks right away to start round-two, attacking the head and body. Attack pressed forward behind his boxing, but was getting picked off on his way to the target. Chikadze was peppering with his jab, and so was Calvin. The pressure was relentless from Kattar, and the longer the round went, the more success he was having. Giga began to mount more offense at the end of the round, but ate a crazy spinning elbow. Kattar exploded with a big takedown just before the bell, and even landed a couple of beautiful punches just in time.
Kattar continued to pressure behind his punching combinations in the third round. Giga was a lot more flat footed than he was in the previous-two frames, but he was still throwing with bad intentions. Kattar added in a takedown attempt, but Chikadze fought hard to remain on his feet. More jabs came flying in from Kattar, and Giga was wearing it on his face at this point.
The jab was still prevalent for Kattar to begin the fourth frame. He was throwing it religiously and landing it often. Chikadze was on his back foot, and then would blitz forward with a series of straight punches every so often. Kattar was also mixing in takedowns attempts, forcing his foe to work to remain vertical. Calvin switched to throwing elbows in combination, and he was even landing some of them.
Kattar continued to lead the dance in the final round. He was connecting with more elbows, jousting with more jabs, and keeping Giga moving backwards. Like a warrior, Chikadze remained on his feet and was firing back punches when he could. He was just out-gunned here. The round ended with an angry flurry from Kattar, where he dropped Giga and followed him to the ground to land a few elbows just before time expired.
Jake Collier def. Chase Sherman by submission (RNC) at 2:26 of round 1: Heavyweight
Collier pressed the action right away, launching some big heavyweight punches at his opponent. Sherman looked to hang tough and return fire with some counters, but lost his balance after Collier caught his kick. Collier took top position and began dropping hefty elbows. He opened up a mean cut on the forehead of Sherman, who was on a bad way. Sherman exposed his back, and Collier choked him out with a rear-naked choke.
Brandon Royval def. Rogerio Bontorin by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Flyweight
Royval started the fight with a ton of activity, while Bontorin was a bit more reserved. When Bontorin did go, he was attacking with heavy calf kicks. Royval was pushing the pace, prompting Bontorin to change levels and secure a takedown. Bontorin controlled from the top for a bit, but Royval ultimately scrambled back to his feet. Brandon went right back to throwing his volume, causing Bontorin to shoot in again. Bontorin tried to pass the guard, but Royval worked really hard to prevent it.
Bontorin knocked over Royval to start the second round. He avoided a triangle, and then transitioned to the back. Royval kept moving and kept retaining his full guard, but Bontorin would keep smashing right through it. Eventually, Brandon got back to his feet, but he rolled his ankle and fell down. As soon as he stood up, Bontorin took him right back to the floor. The fight returned to its feet where Bontorin staggered Royval with a hook before blasting another takedown.
Royval pressured forward behind some volume to start the final frame, until a big double leg gave Bontorin top position. Brandon attacked with an active guard and locked up a tight armbar, and it kind of sort of looked like there was a quick tap, but Rogerio shook him off and solidified top position again. He maintained control until Royval scrambled on top with about 90-seconds to go. Royval started dropping elbows as the clock ticked away, trying to get the finish, but ran out of time.
Katlyn Chookagian def. Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): (W) Flyweight
Chookagian was landing some slick punches early int he fight, while Maia was working the calf kick. Maia started to get ahead on the strike count, so Chookagian altered course and hit a trip takedown. Chookagian passed the guard and started controlling Maia from side control. Maia scrambled up after a botched mount attempt, but there was little time left on the clock.
Chookagian closed the distance early in the second round, but was unable to get the takedown. They broke apart, but then Maia had a turn at closing the distance and trying to snag a takedown. The fight remained on its feet, until from the clinch Chookagian was able to take the back by countering an arm throw. That’s where the round ended.
Chookagian was doing a great job of fighting long to kick off the final frame. She was working off of her jab and making the most of her reach advantage. When Maia tried to rush in, Chookagian would unleash a mean knee up the middle to make her think twice. Maia was swing her hands, but just a little too far away to connect as often as her opponent.
Viacheslav Borshchev def. Dakota Bush by TKO at 3:47 of round 1: Lightweight
As soon as Borshchev started to open up with his hands, Bush exploded with a takedown. Borshchev stayed active and worked back to his feet, although he had to eat a big knee to get there. Bush started to let his hands go, and he was connecting. Borshchev connected with a hook that staggered Bush, but was quickly taken down. He again worked hard to initiate a scramble, and once he got up he detonated a nuclear liver shot that instantly dropped Bush in agony. Some academic followup ground strikes sealed the deal.
Bill Algeo def. Joanderson Brito by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
Brito closed the distance right away and was able to put Algeo on the ground. Algeo worked diligently to get back to his feet, but Brito lifted him up onto his shoulder, carried him across the cage, and then slammed him to the mat. Brito took he back, but Algeo spun around on top. Back on the feet, neither man was able to take over with their striking.
Algeo stung Brito with a big right hand in the opening exchange of round-two. Brito responded by diving for a takedown. Algeo fought it off to stay on his feet, but Brito came alive with a window of offense. Brito was attacking the legs, and then started to connect with his hands. He seemed to run out of gas, and Algeo was able to launch some knees and hand stomps. Yes, hand stomps.
Brito pushed the pace in the final act, looking to strike and backing up Algeo. Once they clinched up, that’s when Algeo would have the advantage. They broke back apart and Brito continued to land the better strikes, even if the strike count was in the favor of Algeo. After getting cracked a few times, Algeo decided to change levels and hit a takedown, and then made his way to the back to finish up the round in a dominant position.