UFC Vegas 46 marked the first UFC event of 2022 and in the main event Calvin Kattar spoiled the great run of Giga Chikadze by picking up a clear cut unanimous decision win.
The win gets Kattar back into the mix of things after he suffered a brutal defeat to Max Holloway one year ago. Meanwhile, Chikadze will go back to the drawing board.
Following the the event, let’s break down the next moves for the two men involved in the main event on the first edition of Matchmaker Monday of 2022.
Next: Brian Ortega
Kattar may have just turned in the best performance of his career and now after a great outing, he finds himself in the title conversation.
The short term answer as far as title shots go is Alexander Volkanovski will defend his crown against The Korean Zombie in April. Long term is up in the air as that fight still needs to play out and Max Holloway, who was originally scheduled to fight Volkanovski until he withdrew from an injury, is still indeed in the mix.
Regardless, Kattar isn’t that close to a title shot, but he’s only a win a way from making an argument of getting a shot at UFC gold.
His next matchup would make sense against former two-time title challenger Brian Ortega. Kattar is coming off a huge win, Ortega just fought for the title and from a rankings stand point they currently sit in the top five.
Next: Shane Burgos
Chikadze had a lot of hype behind him coming into the fight with Kattar and now he may have lost stock, but he can still make a run in this division as long as he regroups and rattles off a few wins.
After what we saw against Kattar, it probably makes sense to pump the breaks on Chikadze. First off, he’s likely to miss some time after taking the punishment that he did. Secondly, it wouldn’t make sense to give him a top ranked guy after what we just saw.
Therefore let’s pencil in Burgos here. Burgos is tough as nails, is battle tested and is coming off a big win. Perfect matchup for a guy like Chikadze, who was a rising contender who just lost some stock.