UFC Singapore Odds, Pick & Prediction for Giga Chikadze vs. Alex Caceres: Bad Matchup for ‘Bruce Leroy’ (Saturday, August 26)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC featherweight Giga Chikadze of Georgia
Giga Chikadze vs. Alex Caceres Odds
|Total (Over/Under)||2.5 (-196 / +152)|
|Venue||Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore|
|Start Time||9:25 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel|
UFC featherweight Giga Chikadze makes his return to action after an 18-month layoff as the former kickboxer looks to resume his march to a world MMA title.
Chikadze opened his UFC career with seven straight victories, including three knockouts, before falling short to Calvin Kattar in his most recent fight.
While Chikadze is looking to get back on track, UFC Singapore opponent Alex Caceres is enjoying a somewhat unexpected late-career resurgence. The Ultimate Fighter 12 vet is 7-1 over his last eight fights, easily the best stretch of his lengthy 28-fight UFC career.
Both men are getting up there in years at age 35 with this bout likely to permanently dash the title hopes of the loser.
Will Chikadze be able to recover from his first UFC loss, or will the recent upward trend continue for "Bruce Leroy"? We'll get into it below, including a couple of options on how to this UFC Singapore main-card bout.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||12:52||11:49|
|Weight||146 pounds||145.5 pounds|
|Reach||74 inches||73 inches|
|Date of birth||8/25/1988||6/20/1988|
|Sig Strikes Per Minute||4.05||4.16|
|SS Absorbed Per Minute||3.35||2.87|
|Take Down Average||0.26||0.59|
Chikadze was one of the early examples of high-level kickboxers transitioning to the UFC, a trend that has only grown since his arrival on the scene. He started fairly slowly, dropping a Contender Series bout and then getting back to the promotion with some regional wins.
While Chikadze won his first two UFC bouts, both were fairly unimpressive split decisions in which he was able to squeak past more well-rounded opponents.
Then, however, his career took off after scoring knockdowns in his next two fights and then three straight knockout victories.
"Ninja" is extremely long for the division at 6 feet tall and with a 74-inch reach, and he takes full advantage of those physical gifts. He has a snappy jab, excellent leg kicks, and a creative overall kicking game that was responsible for two of his three recent knockouts.
— UFC (@ufc) August 23, 2023
I'm not sure there's a featherweight in the UFC I'd make a favorite against Chikadze in a pure striking match, a point he made emphatically in his dismantling of Edson Barboza – another of the division's most talented strikers. Chikadze pulled off the rare feet of making Barboza – the UFC's all-time leader in Fight of the Night bonuses – slow at times, a testament to his speed.
His grappling – and wrestling in particular – is a major weakness for Chikadze. The UFC had done him plenty of matchmaking favors prior to the Kattar bout, matching him up primarily with strikers who didn't even attempt to take things to the mat.
Kattar proved the blueprint for defeating Chikadze, though, weathering the early striking flurries by grinding down Chikadze on the mat early before outpacing a tired Chikadze on the feet in the later rounds.
Chikadze has solid cardio, but his discomfort on the ground clearly drained his gas tank against Kattar.
Caceres is also known primarily for his striking. He has a traditional martial arts background with the requisite wide stance and long kicking game. Those tools work well, especially against shorter opponents, but make wrestling offensively very hard.
The other issue with his stance is a difficulty in checking leg kicks, which could be a major issue against Chikadze.
Caceres is clearly the superior submission grappler here with four UFC submission victories. However, that's a skill set he evolved as a defensive strategy, to discourage his wrestling-based opponents from taking him to the ground.
With just over half a takedown per 15 minutes in the UFC – and many of those more accurately classified as opportunistic reversals than true offensive grappling – Caceres is ill-suited to take the easy road against Chikadze here.
However, his length and southpaw stance are a tough problem to solve with the striking, and he could certainly catch an over-aggressive Chikadze coming in.
Chikadze vs. Caceres Pick
I'm a bit worried about the 18-month layoff in competition for Chikadze here, but he's the more talented overall fighter.
While Caceres would be a massive favorite if things hit the mat, it's hard to see that happening short of a slip or other fluky event.
The benefit to that layoff – if there is one – is Chikadze is likely to be a bit more cautious in the early goings as he re-acclimates to competition. That strategy would serve him well here as it lowers the risk of him getting caught by the southpaw counters of Caceres.
Caceres is fairly durable as well with just one knockout loss on his record, way back in 2015. If Chikadze is able to pick up a finish here, I expect it to be of an attritional nature via body and leg kicks – two areas where Chikadze excels and Caceres doesn't defend well.
Therefore, my favorite betting angles are on Chikadze late, with live betting following a slow start also a very viable method.
My favorite pre-fight option is "Chikadze in Round 3 or by decision," a special bet that is -125 at FanDuel, and I'd bet to -130.
(You can find it other "Rounds Props" and then "Alt. Round Betting" – or click the QuickSlip link below.)
Chikadze by decision at slight plus money, or Chikadze and round overs in a same game parlay make sense too.
However, I'm only betting to win half a unit there while withholding another half on potential Chikadze live spots. The long layoff could plausibly lead to a slow start with his leg kicks paying dividends the longer the fight goes.