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JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 16: Giga Chikadze (R) of Georgia knees Irwin Rivera (L) of the United States in their Featherweight bout during UFC Fight Night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 16, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

UFC's first event of the new year features two ranked featherweights looking to vault into contender status when No. 5-ranked Calvin Kattar faces No. 8-ranked Giga Chikadze. Here are our UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze betting picks.

Saturday's card also features ranked battles between flyweights Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin and women's flyweights Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia.

Our experts offer up their top picks and best bets for the UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze card.

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Expert Picks

Fight odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of Jan. 13, 2022. UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze picks made by Johnny Covers and Kyle Smith

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Locks

Royval to win (-165)

The juice is running away from us in this one but I think for good reason, as Brandon Royval has all the tools needed to dismantle his opponent in this one. In what will almost surely turn into a grappling fest, Royval has the edges nearly across the board statistically including a takedown accuracy of 100%.

With an average fight time of just six minutes and 28 seconds, Royval needs a statement win in this one, having dropped two straight and now at risk to fall out of the coveted top five in the flyweight division. I expect Royval to make light work of his opponent Rogerio Bontorin in this one. - Covers

Chikadze to win (-240)

Calvin Kattar's sheer toughness makes it hard for me to call this a "lock," but I just don't see too many avenues for him to win.

Chikadze is the quicker, technically superior striker, and Kattar doesn't possess the requisite wrestling skills to give the former kickboxer much pause. Plain and simple, I think Giga Chikadze easily outworks Kattar on the feet for 25 minutes or less. - Smith

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Top Underdog Picks

Kattar to win (+195)

One of the hottest fighters right now in the entire promotion, Chikadze comes into this one on a nine-fight win streak including seven straight in the UFC. With three straight performance of the night bonuses stemming from three straight TKOs, this will be Chikadze's second main event in a row.

On the other side, Kattar comes into this fight after a year layoff, having last gone five rounds and lost to Max Holloway. While ring rust is always a concern, I'm more concerned about Chikadze's lack of quality opponents. I have this fight much closer to even on paper, and so have to ride with the 2:1 odds currently being offered on Kattar. - Covers

Rosa to win (+210)

The reason Charles Rosa is such a massive underdog is pretty obvious. It's not because there's an immense talent disparity between him and TJ Brown, he's just fighting on extremely short notice.

Brown's original opponent, Gabriel Benitez, withdrew from the bout citing health reasons, and Rosa leaped at the opportunity to make a trip to the Octagon. Rosa might not be in the same sort of fight shape as Brown (the fight is now being contested at lightweight), but this is a very winnable fight for "Boston Strong." Look for Rosa to outgrapple Brown for 15 minutes en route to a decision victory. - Smith

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Top Prop Picks

Sherman to win by KO/TKO (+310)

With Jake Collier having alternated wins and losses since joining the UFC in 2014, and coming into this one off of a loss, he's getting a lot of love in this one. Not so fast, however.

Not only does Chase Sherman have higher significant strikes landed per minute (6.24 vs. 5.52), but he's also more accurate and the bigger man in this one. Look for a motivated Sherman to end this one well before the final bell. - Covers

Chookagian to win by decision (-120)

The blueprint for Katlyn Chookagian to beat Jennifer Maia was set during their first encounter in 2019 and "The Blonde Fighter" should be able to somewhat replicate her previous performance on Saturday night. It likely won't be swift, or entertaining, but Chookagian will pepper Maia with a steady stream of strikes from the outside for 15 minutes, and she'll have her hand raised as a result. - Smith

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Chikadze Bold Predictions

Sherman to win in Round 1 (+650)

Before his current two-fight slide, both unanimous decision losses, Sherman racked up four straight wins via TKO, three of which were in the very first round. Taking a look at Collier's recent losses, two of which ended via TKO, you guessed it, in the very first round.

While he comes into this one heavily discounted because of two recent poor performances, I like for the former Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship heavyweight champ to put on a show in this one. - Covers

Chikadze to win by decision (+270 via FanDuel Sportsbook)

Kattar is tougher than a $2 steak.

"The Boston Finisher" (gotta work on that nickname, bud) has never been stopped via strikes in any of his five career losses and survived 25 minutes against former 145-pound kingpin Holloway despite absorbing a ludicrous, terrifying, record-breaking, 445 significant strikes. That hellish level of punishment often comes with a heavy price tag. If Kattar hasn't been completely broken by that Holloway drubbing, he'll be able to go the distance with Chikadzke, ultimately losing a unanimous decision to the superior striker. - Smith

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