Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia UFC Odds, Pick Prediction: Can ‘Blonde Fighter’ Win Saturday’s Co-Main Event? (January 15)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Katlyn Chookagian.
- Tonight's co-main event gets underway with Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia meeting for a rematch.
- Chookagian won the first fight in 2019 and is a -190 favorite to do it again.
- Erich Richter breaks down the fight and gives his best pick, below.
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-385 / +270)|
|Time||Approx. 8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.|
The co-main event for the first 2022 UFC card features the rematch between two fighters that we didn’t know we needed! Jennifer Maia will look to right her wrong against Katlyn Chookagian in the women’s flyweight division.
The first fight was an unrelenting stand-up win by Chookagian in 2019. She thoroughly out-struck Maia and won at least 11 of 15 minutes. Chookagian is the second-ranked fighter in the division so she might be looking for a rematch at Valentina Shevchenko.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||13:55||14:56|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|Date of birth||12/28/88||10/6/88|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.57||3.80|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.37||3.97|
|Take Down Avg.||0.25||0.29|
The biggest difference to note in this fight is the size advantage that you can see above in the Tale of the Tape. Chookagian is significantly larger than Maia (5’9 vs. 5’4). She also maintains a 4-inch reach advantage.
In the first fight, Chookagian used her reach advantage tremendously with a strong straight jab and mixing in body kicks and the occasional head kick.
This combination of strikes made it incredibly difficult for Maia to close the distance. Maia should be focused on closing the distance on her opponent more than ever on Saturday.
Overall, Maia’s career has been extremely up and down. She fought Valentina Shevchenko for the title in Nov. 2020 and lost 49-46 unanimously.
This loss is actually the most impressive performance of her career. Maia took Shevchenko down in the second round and held her down for 4:33 (Per UFC Stats). She clearly won that round, one of the few that Shevchenko has ever lost in her career.
Calling this a career highlight is tough because, well, she lost decisively. However, it does show that Maia can control almost any opponent on the ground if she can get them down.
Maia did take Chookagian down in the third round of their first fight and held her down pretty easily. This is her only path to victory, any striking exchanges are a clear Chookagian advantage.
Chookagian vs. Maia Pick
This fight is tough to truly cap because it requires a little bit of guessing about game plans more than usual.
If Jennifer Maia comes into this fight with only takedowns on her mind, she could win. However, if Maia thinks her striking has progressed to the point that she wants to strike with Chookagian at all, she will lose far more often than not.
Pre-fight, we clearly expect this fight to go the judge’s scorecards. Sportsbooks are keen on this as DraftKings has this fight to go the distance at -360 (78.26% implied).
We should know who is going to win this fight in the first round. Maia needs takedowns early and often with all of the ground control in the world. If you want to take a shot, you can go for Jennifer Maia to win by submission +1200. Though, it is worth noting that Chookagian has never been submitted in her MMA career.
Expect Chookagian to stay at range with her jab and kicks to get the win. Maia may try to get takedowns but the size and reach difference make it very difficult to back Maia. Seeing a different outcome in this fight is tough, expect Chookagian to win the rematch.
Furthermore, she is a points fighter who has never finished a fight in her UFC career. Basically, all of her win condition is tied to a decision that comes in at -125 on DraftKings. As a -200 favorite and no finishes in the UFC, her decision prop is a solid discount to bet on Chookagian.
This prop bet is worth a play up to -150, there is no reason to bet on Chookagian’s moneyline at this time.
The Pick: Katlyn Chookagian wins by decision -125 (DraftKings)