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Calvin Kattar
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
In the Clinch

The UFC is Back: Five Bets to Place Saturday

by Steven Ricciardi
Updated On: January 14, 2022, 8:41 pm ET

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The UFC is back for 2022; we missed the fights!  This week we have a striker’s delight in the main event between Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze.  Check out my main event preview for a detailed breakdown of that fight.  


I detailed five bets below that have value on this card.



**Fight: Court McGee vs Ramiz Brahimaj 

Moneyline Bet:  Court McGee ML (-112) on Pointsbet


Analysis: Court McGee has multiple paths to victory in this matchup.  McGee is a better striker and throws more volume.  He is also a very good grappler who sports a 69% takedown defense.  He was very impressive in his last performance vs Claudio Silva.  Brahimaj does not have very good cardio.  Brahimaj may have success early in the fight if he employs that aggressive takedown attack but that could be detrimental.  McGee is live for a late finish or decision victory.







**Fight: Joanderson Brito vs Bill Algeo

Moneyline Bet:  Joanderson Brito ML (-130) on Pointsbet


Analysis: Joanderson Brito is making his UFC debut.  He earned a UFC contract with his performance on Dana White’s Contenders Series this past August. Brito is a pressure fighter who will strike to close distance and look to take you down to the mat.  Once he gets his opponent to the mat, he will work his ground and pound to finish the fight or look for a submission finish.  Brito’s opponent is Bill Algeo.  Algeo has one win in the UFC vs Spike Carlyle who is a notorious gasser.  Spike was able to secure a takedown in all three rounds vs Algeo.  Algeo has been taken down 20 times during his four fights under the UFC banner.  Brito has the ability to secure takedowns vs Algeo.  Brito’s path to a decision victory is to secure those takedowns, secure top position and accumulate ground strikes.  

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**Fight: Dakota Bush vs Viacheslav Borshchev

Moneyline Bet:  Dakota Bush ML (+160) on Pointsbet


Analysis: Dakota Bush entered the UFC on short notice vs Austin Hubbard and had a decent showing.  He’s coached by James Krause which leads me to believe he will have the right gameplan to beat the kickboxer, Viacheslav Borshchev.  Dakota spent a majority of his fight with Hubbard on the feet striking and was one for six on takedown attempts.  He’s a Missouri State wrestling champion and using that wrestling opens his path to victory vs Borshchev.  Dakota is at a severe disadvantage vs Borshchev on the feet.  Dakota will pursue the takedown early to try and gas Borshchev.  Dakota is also live for a submission on the ground.  He has four rear-naked choke submission wins to his credit. 


**Fight: Brandon Royval vs Rogerio Bontorin 

Moneyline Bet:  Brandon Royval ML  (-160) on Pointsbet


Analysis: Brandon Royval is an exciting fighter who is constantly in motion both striking and grappling.  The first round of this fight will be close but it will set up Royval to win via submission or decision as he begins to get the better of the transitions.  He has tremendous cardio and will test Bontorin’s cardio in the process.  Bontorin cuts a lot of weight to make this weight class so I expect Royval to take advantage of that cardio dump as this fight moves along.  Brandon Royval is excellent at scrambling so expect him to gain a dominant position on the ground. 


**Fight: Calvin Kattar vs Giga Chikadze 

Prop: Fight to Start Round 4 (-120) on Pointsbet 


Analysis: Both fighters have been very patient in the past.  They both want to establish their distance early in this fight.  Giga has tremendous distance management and uses his kicks to keep that distance. Let’s pay attention to who takes the center of the octagon, provides the pressure, and leads the dance.  I expect it to be Giga Chikadze who will settle into that southpaw stance and attack the midsection of Calvin Kattar.  Giga should be able to get ahead in this fight in the early rounds.   Giga’s head kick is also a weapon that Calvin needs to look out for in this fight.  Calvin will keep this at a safe distance and this fight should enter the late rounds.


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Steven Ricciardi

Steven Ricciardi is a Combat Sports betting analyst for NBC Sports EDGE. He started Jersey Boys Sports Media to cover MMA events such as the UFC, PFL and Ring of Combat. His podcast started in 2018 which covers UFC betting and MMA DFS. You can follow Steven Ricciardi on Twitter @CombatSportsNBC