Alex Caceres vs. Giga Chikadze prediction | UFC Singapore 1

UFC Singapore will have no shortage of high-level strikers this Saturday. Amongst them are featherweights Alex ‘Bruce Leeroy’ Caceres and Giga ‘Ninja’ Chikadze, who are set to battle on the main card. Should it stay on the feet, this one has the potential to steal the fight of the night.

Chikadze’s hype has died down some over the last year or two after he lost unanimously to Calvin Kattar to begin 2022. Caceres has found more success with two straight wins, including a highlight-reel knockout of Julian Erosa.

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Betting Odds

Chikadze is a hefty favorite coming into this one against Bruce Leeroy:

  • Giga Chikadze: -250 (BetUS)
  • Alex Caceres: +200 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Alex Caceres will be making the walk to the UFC octagon for the 29th time this weekend. Caceres, 35, is 21-13 overall as a pro and has a well rounded game of unorthodox striking and grappling. On the feet, he’s a southpaw with a sideways, karate-style stance that he uses to stay light and dip out of range when his opponent throws. He likes his kicks from both sides but mainly utilizes the round kick with the back leg and the sidekick with the front. His hands are quick and he strings together good boxing combinations even though he isn’t the most powerful puncher. His power often comes from his lower body in his kicks. His knockout victory over Julian Erosa shows how technically sharp he is offensively where he uses his straight left hand to hide a delayed left high kick that Erosa never saw.

Similar to his flashy striking style, his jiu jitsu is very unorthodox and predicated around movement. He likes to flow from one position to the next and is very good at taking the back this way, even from the standing clinch. He does get caught in submission attempts himself in these exchanges so it seems he’s much more offensively minded here.

With his striking defense being so reliant on his movement, he becomes much easier to hit as he’s immobilized. This can happen when he’s backed up to the fence and forced to shorten his stance, square his shoulders and be ready to counter with his boxing. His movement is also slowed by the leg kicks to his lead leg. He’s had three straight fights where his opponent has found success both early on and late in the fight targeting his front leg, making it hard to maneuver in the way he wants. When he’s put in these situations, his low guard and not being able to effectively throw kicks makes him susceptible to striking flurries. He hasn’t eaten the right hand well, he’s gotten caught by it a lot and has been dropped because of it so we’ll see if Chikadze can find the openings with it.

His opponent, Giga Chikadze is returning to the octagon after 18 months off. The former Glory kickboxer is 14-3 in MMA with his most recent fight being a unanimous decision loss to Calvin Kattar at the beginning of 2022. Giga, 34 years old, is a striker with an impressive arsenal of explosive, technical kicks. He likes to switch stances and fire offense from both sides but he’s famous (or infamous if you’re his opponent) for his left round kick to the liver from southpaw.

In the striking department, Giga is a kick specialist, but his hands shouldn’t be slept on. He’s explosive in his combinations and when he’s able to create space and set his feet, he’s one of the most dangerous strikers in the featherweight division. He throws devastating leg kicks to accompany his fight ending techniques like the round kicks to the liver and head. He uses these kicks to set up one another and with his flow between stances, he batters both sides of his opponent at all three levels. He has a bad tendency of retreating and using a lot of movement around the cage to try and get space. Too often, he’s tracked down by his opponent (especially later in the fight) and is caught with the boxing combos as he keeps his hands low and relies mostly on head movement and consistent footwork.

Though the grappling department isn’t his strength, he’s shown impressive takedown defense to keep the fight off the ground. He fights off attempts along the cage well and has shown that he’s well-versed in the right technique to defend a multitude of positions when pressed against the fence. He was controlled for the majority of the first round by Kattar after he slipped and found himself in the bottom position, so if his opponent is able to get him down, this may be an area where they can rack up control time and wear on the gas tank of the Georgian product.

Giga’s striking is powerful and explosive. Pair that with the miles he accumulates running around the octagon trying to gain space to threaten with his kicks, his gas tank depletes a bit too quickly. His output won’t necessarily drop, but he’s much less technical and his movement slows significantly towards the end of round two. I’d like to see him be more aggressive with his boxing and throw out more feints with the kicks like he did against Omar Morales to keep his opponent off of him.

Caceres, the southpaw, poses a unique challenge to Giga thus far in the UFC as he loves to target the open side of orthodox opponents with his left kicks from southpaw. That liver kick likely won’t be found against Caceres so if he wants to work the body, it’ll be from orthodox. Given the striking experience of the Georgian, I don’t expect Giga to struggle with this but Kattar found some success in limiting the left kick in their matchup last January. Chikadze has a lot of power in his hands and he’s shown to be very effective with the left straight and overhand from the lefty stance which could catch Caceres over the ear on his lead side.

For Alex to pull off the upset, he’s going to need to crowd Giga. Caceres’s striking is predicated mainly around kicks as well, so whoever can keep their opponent backed up to the cage will hold a major advantage. Caceres in particular will have more options in this position as he loves to clinch and drag his opponent down to the mat. Even if he’s not successful in getting Chikadze down, it’d be a good idea to test him early and wear on his motor. He looked very tired heading into round two against Calvin Katter largely due to the amount of defending he had to do from the bottom. He still came out with power and solid combinations so he’s still dangerous offensively, but he becomes easier to track down and hit.


Caceres is a fun striker with great movement of his own but I don’t think he has the power to back Giga down and take control on the feet. Giga will have the power advantage but it’s hard to determine who will be faster in the striking as well as movement as both guys are very quick. Caceres needs to be the quicker guy if he’s not going to be able to match the power to stand any chance on the feet. In regards to grappling, Giga has been very good at defending the takedowns from the clinch so I don’t see Caceres being super successful (say that three times fast) in these grappling scenarios.

One bad position defensively for Caceres is one of Giga’s biggest strengths: leg kicks. Caceres has gotten his lead leg beaten down and if he didn’t figure out how to defend them effectively after the Yusuff fight, I don’t see why we should expect him to have improved here. Giga has massive power in his kicks and he fires them off faster than anyone Caceres has faced since maybe Yair back in 2016. These kicks will kill the movement of Caceres early and he leaves a lot of openings for strikes once he’s slowed down. If Caceres is unable to take this fight to the ground and control or submit Chikadze over three rounds, I don’t see him pulling off the upset. Alex has only been knocked out once in his career, but the +210 odds on Chikadze by knockout is too good to pass on.

  • Prediction: Giga Chikadze to win -250 (BetUS)
  • Best Bet: Giga Chikadze to win inside the distance +210 (BetUS)

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