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MMA handicapper Christian Broughton returns to deliver his best bets for the first UFC card of 2022, UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze.

Bet of the Card: (2u) Charles Rosa Moneyline @ +220 (to Return 6.4 Units)

Charles Rosa vs. TJ Brown

Preliminary Card - Lightweight (155lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 5:45 p.m. EST.

  • 9 of Charles Rosa’s 14 wins have come inside the distance, with 8 of them being via submission.
  • TJ Brown has 8 career losses and 6 of them have come before the final bell (3 KO/TKO’s, 3 Submissions) (per Tapology.com).

People are largely down on Charles Rosa at the moment, and it’s understandable to see why. His wins have come by way of tight split-decisions, and his losses have seen him get almost completely grounded out on the mat, with not much offense to be seen from him. Typically, this is someone I would be hesitant to bet, especially when he’s stepping in on just a few days’ notice, but I like him here in this spot against TJ Brown.

Brown is a wrestle-boxer. He doesn’t particularly excel in any one area, but his enthusiasm and output makes for fun fights and favorable viewing for the judges. The betting line on this fight appears to me that people see a declining Charles Rosa taking the short-notice fight against a guy who has got the capacity to take him down and control him, however I don’t see the same thing.

Rosa’s recent defeats have come against Damon Jackson, Darrick Minner, and Bryce Mitchell, all of whom are excellent on the mat, and have the ability to take decent grapplers down and control them. TJ Brown on the other hand, may have the wrestling to get the fight to the mat, but he doesn’t seem to have the skills to keep it there, and I think that holds up, even against Rosa, a fighter known for being happy to play off his back. Also, Brown’s defensive wrestling in the UFC has been underwhelming, and if Rosa is able to get on top, it could be a short night for Brown given his lacklustre submission defense.

On the feet, I lean towards Brown as the better striker. In the wrestling, I’d also give this to Brown because of his offensive pressure and relentlessness. However, on the ground, I think Rosa is levels above. A large part of my play on Rosa here is that I believe he can reverse positions or win scrambles to get on top. Brown will be making bigger improvements with him being the younger fighter, but I’ll never be able to forget him giving up a guillotine choke from side control to Jordan Griffin, who he was handily beating up until that point.

All in all, Rosa will be Brown’s toughest test to date, and yet Brown’s currently sitting as a -280 favorite, which is exceptionally hard to justify. This could be a classic spot of two ships passing in the night, one getting closer to retirement and the other looking to establish themselves as a UFC calibre fighter, but this is a crazy line, even with the short-notice factored in. I’m taking Charles Rosa on the moneyline, and when the props get released, I’ll also be looking to add his submission/inside the distance prop too, if the price is right.

(1u) Calvin Kattar Moneyline @ +200 (to Return 3 Units)

(0.1u) Calvin Kattar Round 4 @ +3200 (to Return 3.3 Units)

(0.1u) Calvin Kattar Round 5 @ +4200 (to Return 4.3 Units)

Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze

Main Event - Featherweight (145lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:15 p.m. EST.

  • Calvin Kattar only has 1 stoppage lose in his career and that came via submission in just his 4th pro MMA bout (per Tapology.com).
  • Giga Chikadze has been to a decision in 4 of his 7 UFC fights, and Calvin Kattar has all the makings to be his most difficult challenge to this point. 
Moicano vs Kattar

Giga Chikadze has cost me a pretty penny during his time in the UFC, and although I respect his performances and the developments he’s made to his game, I’m not completely sold on him yet. His striking is clearly elite, his takedown defense and grappling is ever-improving, but my biggest question with him, is his gas tank. We’ve seen him go to hard fought decisions and look seriously fatigued, and we’ve seen him effortlessly coast in fights against people he’s clearly superior to.

Say what you will about how Max Holloway handled Kattar at the beginning of last year, but going into that fight, many believed that Kattar was a live ‘dog (+139 average odds – per BestFightOdds.com) to win against one of the best featherweights the sport has ever seen, and he’s now a larger underdog than he was in that spot. For me, this is a huge sign of recency bias. We’ve been seeing Chikadze run through good comp’ as of late, and trailblaze his way into a decent spot in the rankings, whereas Kattar has been out for a year, with our last memory of him being the record-setting beatdown Holloway put on him. I think this is causing many to forget what kind of tough and hardnosed talent Kattar is, whilst blindly watching Chikadze highlight reel KO aging fan favorites like Edson Barboza and Cub Swanson.

Chikadze is a dangerous striker, and as we’ve seen, he has the capability to put away anyone at any given time. This can be a concern, particularly when it comes to Kattar’s willingness to marching forward and eat shots, but I expect his insane durability taking him through that early storm. Once he digs through that, I see him starting to overwhelm and fatigue the backpedalling, Chikadze, with forwards momentum. From there, he can go and do his best work with his boxing, or even with some uncharacteristic wrestling, allowing him to out-work Chikadze down the stretch, either leading to a close decision, or the late stoppage.

It will be intense watching early, but providing Kattar is able to withstand the calculated shots of Chikadze in the opening couple rounds, he has the proven cardio to take over the fight late and look like nice value to win at his current 2-to-1 price tag. In addition to his moneyline, I’ve also taken a small sprinkle on Kattar’s rounds 4 and 5 props at large plus-numbers, as I can see him forcing the finish if Chikadze’s gas tank runs completely dry.

(1u) Vanessa Demopoulos to Win Inside the Distance @ +350 (to Return 4.5 Units)

Silvana Gómez Juárez vs. Vanessa Demopoulos

Preliminary Card Opener - Strawweight (115lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 4:15 p.m. EST.

  • 3 of Vanessa Demopoulos’ 6 wins have come via submission (per Sherdog.com).

Vanessa Demopoulos is a fairly uninspiring fighter, but I do see this as a favorable stylistic matchup for her. Silvana Gomez Juarez made her UFC debut in October of last year, where she was promptly out-grappled and submitted in the first round by Lupita Godinez. It was pure domination for Godinez, and although I rate her more highly than Demopoulos, I saw enough deficiencies in Juarez’s grappling to conclude that Demopoulos can also find her way to a submission finish in this fight.

I see Juarez controlling the striking whilst the fight remains standing, but with Demopoulos being the fighter pushing forward, I expect her to tie up Juarez and take her to the mat. From there, she can smother her from top control and work for a submission finish.

I don’t mind taking a shot here on Demopoulos’ moneyline at a reasonable -130, but given that for her to win this fight, she’ll likely need to be in a dominant grappling position for long periods, thus I see greater value on her inside the distance prop against someone she should be able to put away from such positions.

Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.

Event: UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze / Kattar vs. Giga / UFC on ESPN 32 / UFC Vegas 46 / #UFCVegas46

Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Date: Saturday, January 15th, 2022

Start time: Main Card: 7 p.m. EST, Prelims: 4 p.m. EST.

Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN/ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+

UFC Odds: Click here to view the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night: Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Full Fight Card Predictions

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Main Event Prediction

Featherweight (145lbs): Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze – Kattar via KO/TKO

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Main Card Predictions

(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia – Chookagian via Decision

Flyweight (125lbs): Brandon Royval vs. Rogério Bontorin – Royval via Submission

Heavyweight (265lbs): Jake Collier vs. Chase Sherman – Collier via Decision

Featherweight (145lbs): Bill Algeo vs. Joanderson Brito – Brito via Decision

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Prelim Card Predictions

Middleweight (185lbs): Jamie Pickett vs. Joseph Holmes – Pickett via Decision

Welterweight (170lbs): Court McGee vs. Ramiz Brahimaj – McGee via Decision

Lightweight (155lbs): Charles Rosa vs. TJ Brown – Rosa via Submission

Lightweight (155lbs):  Dakota Bush vs. Viacheslav Borshchev – Borshchev via Decision

Bantamweight (135lbs): Brian Kelleher vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov – Kakhramonov via Submission

(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Silvana Gómez Juárez vs. Vanessa Demopoulos – Demopoulos via Submission

*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.

Click here to check out all the Best Odds for the Fights!

Article Author


A former sportsbook trader with a passion for mixed martial arts. If there is value to be found then Christian is the man to find it.


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