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Giga Chikadze swelling as betting favorite over Calvin Kattar in UFC’s first main event of 2022

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For the second consecutive year, Calvin Kattar will do the honors of opening the UFC’s calendar in a main event spot. He is facing underdog status for the second consecutive year, as well.

Kattar (22-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is currently the betting underdog going into the UFC on ESPN 32 main event vs. Giga Chikadze (14-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC), which takes place Jan. 15 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

Current odds for the featherweight contender matchup from Tipico, the exclusive sports betting and iGaming provider for USA TODAY Sports and MMA Junkie, have Chikadze as a -240 favorite, meaning a successful bet of $240 would be needed to secure a $100 win. Kattar, for his part, sits at +150, meaning a successful bet of $100 would secure a $150 win.

Kattar, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie featherweight rankings, hasn’t fought since his unanimous decision loss to Max Holloway at UFC on ABC 1 in January 2021. He took significant damage in the bout, and followed it with a lengthy layoff.

He’ll attempt to rebound against streaking No. 12-ranked contender Chikadze, who is riding a run of seven consecutive octagon victories. The Georgian striking specialist is coming off a main event knockout of Edson Barboza at UFC on ESPN 30 in August.

The latest UFC on ESPN 32 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (ESPN, ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze

  • Michel Pereira vs. Muslim Salikhov

  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia

  • Rogerio Bontorin vs. Brandon Royval

  • Jake Collier vs. Chase Sherman

  • Gabriel Benitez vs. TJ Brown

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)

  • Bill Algeo vs. Joanderson Brito

  • Ramiz Brahimaj vs. Court McGee

  • Viacheslav Borshchev vs. Dakota Bush

  • Saidyokub Kakhramonov vs. Brian Kelleher

  • Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez

  • Joseph Holmes vs. Jamie Pickett