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    Calvin Kattar, Giga Chikadze Can’t Afford a Loss at UFC Vegas 46


    Welcome to The Weekly Takedown, Sports Illustrated’s newest look at MMA. Every week, this column will offer insight and information on the most noteworthy stories in the fight world.

    Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze headline this Saturday’s UFC on ESPN card, each seeking to take a step further in the featherweight division.

    For Kattar (22-5), this will be his first time back in the cage since last year’s one-sided loss to top-ranked featherweight Max Holloway on Jan. 16. He needs a victory to hold onto his fifth spot in the rankings, but that will be no simple task against Chikadze (14-2), who has rattled off nine straight wins.

    Chikadze bludgeoned MMA staples in his past two bouts, quickly dominating Cub Swanson before obliterating Edson Barboza. His past three trips to the Octagon have resulted in Performance of the Night honors, a streak he would like to extend on Saturday.

    “My mission is to get the UFC belt,” Chikadze said. “I’m getting closer to making that dream come true, and I’m doing it for Georgia, my home country. That is what drives me forward. I don’t take vacation. I just keep working to move forward and get that title.”

    Now eighth in the division, Chikadze is primed to continue his ascent toward the title–and it feels as though Kattar is merely another step on his climb toward the top. Except, of course, no one informed that piece of information to Kattar, who is quite familiar with being overlooked. Kattar has a lot to prove on Saturday, and he plans on returning to the win column and resuming his own championship-driven journey.



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