UFC Fight Night: Giga Chikadze Strikes His Way To Victory Over Edson Barboza
Giga Chikadze might have made a case for himself to be one of the top strikers in the UFC.
Chikadze (14-2) knocked out Edson Barboza (22-10) with strikes just less than two minutes of the third round. The featherweight clash headlined UFC Fight Night inside the Apex in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Before the fight, Chikadze repeatedly said that he wants to prove he’s the best striker in the UFC, and defeating Barboza the way he did, some might say he confirmed it.
In the first round, Chikadze, a Georgian fighter, landed several kicks and punches. Both athletes knew each other very well. Chikadze checked most of Barboza’s leg kicks while Barboza, a Brazilian fighter, blocked the famous “Giga Kick” (liver shot) with elbows or knee.
Nothing significant happened in the first round, but Chikadze landed more strikes, so he took the first two rounds. He was was landing liver kicks, hard-left crosses from the southpaw stances, and the orthodox stance; he was trying to land Knees and low kicks.
At the beginning of the third round, the Georgian landed a right knee to the body and stunned Barboza with a huge cross. He dropped Barboza with several hard punches. Barboza tried for submission heel hook on the ground, but in response, Chikadze tried submitting Barboza via anaconda choke.
He tied his hands well, but he could not fix the body, so he could not finish Barboza with that submission attempt. Soon after, he realized that time was running out for Barboza; while the Brazilian was recovering from the hard shots, Chikadze immediately landed other huge punches, which turned out to be fatal for his rival.
He smells blood! 😱 @giga_chikadze #UFCVegas35 pic.twitter.com/zYVOF15e6K
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 29, 2021
It was the first-ever Georgian main event in the UFC.
After winning, Chikadze called out former featherweight champion Max Holloway or offered the UFC as the replacement fighter to cover the title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.
“If it is the title shot, I would love to cover the title shot and be a replacement fighter; if not, somebody (Max Holloway) who leads the division, you know… he knows my name. I saw the interview, somebody asked him, and he said like this ‘Oh yeah, I know this, I hear this, Giga guy who kicks,’ I am not just a Giga guy who kicks; I kick the s*it out of people,” he said.
In the UFC, Chikadze remains undefeated and earned his seventh consecutive victory.
In the TUF finals of the bantamweight division, Ricky Turcios (12-2) and Brady Hiestand (6-2) battled it out. Turcios defeated his opponent via split decision.
Ricky Turcios is The Ultimate Fighter! 👏
We have our 2021 bantamweight winner! 🙌#ReturnOfTUF | #UFCVegas35 pic.twitter.com/No1fBjhJjI
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) August 29, 2021
Hiestand was doing many takedowns, but he was not working on the ground, unlike his rival. Turcios landed lots of elbows from his back and from the clinch.
Kevin Lee suffered another loss in the UFC against Daniel Rodriguez. Lee won the first round, but this was not enough. Like before, he got tired again and could not finish his takedowns or could not hold Rodriguez on the ground.
In Lee’s previous five contests, he won only once.
Gerald Meerschaert earned another submission victory in the UFC.
He opened the bout as a huge underdog with the odds +440 against Makhmud Muradov. But, this didn’t seem to mean anything as Meerschaert stopped Muradov’s 14-fight winning streak and served him his first-ever loss in the UFC after three victories in a row.
Muradov suffered his fourth submission loss in his professional MMA career.
Check out all the results of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night:
- Giga Chikadze def Edson Barboza KO/TKO, 1:44 R3
- Bryan Battle def Gilbert Urbina Sub, 2:15 R2
- Ricky Turcios def Brady Hiestand Split Dec
- Daniel Rodriguez def Kevin Lee Unanimous Dec
- Andre Petroski def Micheal Gillmore KO/TKO, 3:12 R3
- G. Meerschaert def Makhmud Muradov Sub, 1:49 R2
- Razak Alhassan def A. Di Chirico KO/TKO, 0:17 R1
- Wellington Turman def Sam Alvey Split Dec
- Dustin Jacoby def Darren Stewart KO/TKO, 3:04 R1
- JJ Aldrich def V. Demopoulos Unanimous Dec
- Pat Sabatini def Jamall Emmers Sub, 1:53 R1
- Mana Martinez def Guido Cannetti Split Dec