UFC president Dana White announced the recipients of the performance-based fighter bonuses stemming from Saturday’s UFC Vegas 46 during the event’s post-fight press conference.
Fight of the Night: Calvin Kattar vs Giga Chikadze
The first main event of 2022 delivered on almost all its promises as Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze stood toe-to-toe for all 25 minutes in an absolute war.
Kattar got into Chikadze’s face early and switched his stances to mitigate the opportunity for Chikadze to fire off a body kick flush. Chikadze adjusted accordingly, and he started to counter well moving backward. However, after Chikadze slipped on a kick, Kattar pounced and maintained control for the rest of the round. With the pressure working, Kattar wore Chikadze down some more over the next few rounds.
In the second and third rounds, Kattar switched to an elbow-heavy attack and sliced nasty cuts up on Chikadze’s face. He also stayed in perpetual forward motion, but when Chikadze had some space, he fired off heavy shots with his feet and hands. When Kattar shot for takedowns, the Georgian fended them off well. Although Chikadze had his moment of success, the story of the fight was Kattar. He pushed the pace all fight, showed off his slick boxing, mixed in grappling and punished Chikadze with elbows. His best shot came late – a spinning counter elbow that Chikadze somehow ate without so much as flinching. As the fight wound down, Kattar finally dropped Chikadze and finished the fight with furious ground-and-pound.
The judges gave Kattar the unanimous nod (50-45, 50-45, 50-44), a heck of a bounce-back win after a year away from action.
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Performance of the Night: Jake Collier
Jake Collier delivered one of his better performances as a heavyweight with a first-round submission of Chase Sherman. Right away, Collier showed off his hand-speed to deliver the better shots early.
Sherman fired a kick, but Collier caught it and pushed Sherman to the canvas. From there, he poured on heavy ground-and-pound before taking Sherman’s back and securing a rear naked choke. The victory was Collier’s first submission win in the UFC.
Performance of the Night: Viacheslav Borshchev
There’s simply no better way to make your UFC debut than getting an emphatic finish and walking away with an extra $50k in your pockets, and that’s exactly what Viacheslav Borshchev did inside the UFC APEX with his first-round TKO over Dakota Bush.
Bush’s strategy for unraveling the decorated kickboxer was set into motion pretty quickly, as he tagged the newcomer and took him down, but Borshchev remained calm and got the fight back to the feet, backing Bush against the cage before dropping him with a left hook to the liver, finishing the fight with a flurry of punches.
A bold statement for the Russian fighting out of Team Alpha Male, who shows promise to make waves in a stacked lightweight divsion.