Coach: Calvin Kattar “has the option” to wrestle Giga Chikadze at UFC Vegas 46: “This isn’t Glory kickboxing, it’s an MMA fight”

Calvin Kattar, Zabit Magomedsharipov, UFC on ESPN 13
Image via Calvin Kattar on Instagram

Calvin Kattar will finally make his return to the Octagon in the main event of UFC Vegas 46.

Kattar last fought back in January of 2021 on the first card of the year and suffered a decision loss to Max Holloway. In the fight, Kattar absorbed 445 significant strikes and after the fight, his head coach, Tyson Chartier said they wanted him to take a full year off which is what happened.

“We could have come back a little earlier, we were ahead of schedule, but time off will never hurt you as long as you are utilizing it to improve on your weapons,” Chartier said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “This is good timing, it’s a year off, Calvin’s hungry to get back. He was out long enough to heal but not too long where there will be any sort of ring rust issues.”

During the time off, Chartier and Kattar were paying close attention to the featherweight division and were offered Chikadze in August. However, that was too soon for Kattar and after that, they expected his return fight to be against Arnold Allen.

“At that time, we thought we were going to fight Arnold Allen,” Chartier said about Kattar. “We were out in Texas and watched the fight and thought Giga’s win was impressive but we were told, Allen. Yet, went that fell through we had no idea who they were going to offer us.”

Against Giga Chikadze, Tyson Chartier knows Calvin Kattar has the advantage with wrestling, despite the Boston native being known as a boxer. However, the coach makes it clear this is an MMA fight and the game plan is to make it an MMA fight and not a kickboxing bout.

“Calvin actually wrestled so he has to be the better wrestler. We have a pretty good plan coming in. If you look at what Edson did, he tried to kickbox a great kickboxer, and that is not the best thing,” Chartier said about Kattar-Chikadze. “Other people who have mixed it up a little bit have had success. We don’t want to be one-dimensional in any fight.

“Do I think Calvin could stand in front of him for 25 minutes and box him and have a chance at winning? Absolutely,” Chartier continued. “At the end of the day, this isn’t Glory kickboxing, it’s an MMA fight. We will see how that plays out, and fortunately, we have the option to take it down if we want to, but maybe we don’t need to.”

Not only do they believe Kattar has the wrestling advantage, but they also think fighting at the UFC Apex and in the small Octagon is also a plus for them. Yet, Chartier makes it clear they aren’t taking Chikadze lightly as they know the Georgian is dangerous.

“Whoever has the grappling experience has the advantage in the smaller cage. That is something to consider, it will be less space for him to run around,” Chartier said. “This is good we are fighting in the smaller cage against Giga.”

If Kattar does defeat Chikadaze on Saturday night, it would be a big win for him and they believe it could put him in the title conversation.

“I think it depends on what they decide to do. That does run by your mind. Like a big win here, we win, we are the one that makes sense (to fight Volkanovski),” Chartier concluded.

Do you think Calvin Kattar will defeat Giga Chikadze at UFC Vegas 46?

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