The UFC is back, and LIVE from Singapore this weekend! The main event of this Fight Night features Max “Blessed” Holloway taking on “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in a featherweight showdown. Here, though, we are breaking down and offering our prediction for another big featherweight fight on the card – a matchup between Giga Chikadze and Alex Caceres. My prediction straight off the bat is that this one is sure to be a striking clinic.
Giga Chikadze: Momentum Briefly Halted
Not that long ago, Giga Chikadze was being raved about, and held up as the next person who would hold the UFC featherweight strap – in fact, many people were adamant in their prediction that he would be champion. So far, it…hasn't gone quite to plan.
People forget just how ridiculous of a run Giga Chikadze was on prior to his most recent fight. A seven fight winning streak in one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC was only halted by a decision loss to Calvin Kattar in January of last year. Prior to that, he was a fighter that most dreaded having to face. Recency bias certainly hasn't been kind to Chikadze, but now he has a chance to remind people of just how good he is (just in case anyone had forgotten).
Alex Caceres: Finally Gaining Traction
Alex Caceres has finally started gaining some much needed momentum in the division.
“Bruce Leeroy” is now riding a two-fight winning streak, following his most recent wins over Daniel Pineda and Julian Erosa. It's fair to say that Alex Caceres has looked much more impressive in his most recent performances, and looks like he is finally starting to live up to the potential he has been touted to have for so long. In this fight against Giga Chikadze, Alex Caceres will be coming into this fight with a lot of confidence and belief, and with very good reason.
Giga Chikadze: Path to Victory – Elite Striking
Giga Chikadze's path to victory in this fight is relatively straightforward – utilise his phenomenal kickboxing and striking.
Chikadze's stand-up skills are among some of the very best in the division, and that really is saying something. His liver kick is absolutely devastating. His boxing is outstandingly good. And his footwork/movement is second to very few. Put all of this together, and you have one truly dangerous fighter on your hands.
Realistically, if Giga Chikadze can keep this fight standing on his terms and dictate the rhythm and tempo, then he becomes a lot harder to stop. Alex Caceres will have to try his utmost to neutralise Chikadze and his movement early on, or he could be in for a long fifteen minutes in that cage. In fact, it's the reason Calvin Kattar was able to neutralise Chikadze in his last outing – dictating the rhythm of the fight is essential against Giga Chikadze, or he will punish you for it, and that is a very easy prediction to make.
Alex Caceres: Path to Victory – Unorthodox Approach
The reason why Alex Caceres is such a fan favourite and is beloved by so many is simple – he is the true embodiment of a mixed martial artist.
Putting objectivity and analysis aside, Alex Caceres is a really fun fighter to watch. His movement and approach is incredibly unique. Aside from being very entertaining, it also presents a lot of unique challenges for his opponents. When he fought Julian Erosa (and eventually knocked him out with a head kick), it was the movement and footwork of Caceres that enabled him to land that sniper shot. Erosa had a nightmare of a time trying to figure it out. Even in his most recent fight against Daniel Pineda, Pineda simply could not get to grips with the speed and movement of Caceres.
This fight will be a very unique challenge for Chikadze to try and solve. It will be extremely interesting to see how Chikadze approaches trying to solve the puzzle of Alex Caceres, because there are very few fighters who move the way that Alex Caceres does.
Official Prediction: Chikadze to Return to Winning Ways
In truth, my prediction is that this fight will be a lot more interesting than many people think.
Despite the fight only being three rounds, I am making the prediction that we will see a LOT of action in that octagon. As I've predicted already, I think Caceres is going to present Giga Chikadze with some legitimate difficulties when it comes to movement and approach. And it will be extremely interesting to see how Chikadze approaches solving that problem.
Ultimately though, I am making the prediction that Giga Chikadze will be able to solve this challenge, and I think his striking will just be too much for Alex Caceres. Giga Chikadze also packs one hell of a punch (both literally and figuratively), and I think he might catch Caceres with a shot that will really sting and hurt him. Additionally, when Giga Chikadze smells blood in the water, he's pretty relentless in hunting down his wounded prey.
My official prediction is that Giga Chikadze is going to get back on the momentum train with a second round KO in this fight.