Giga Chikadze (Georgia) vs. Edson Barboza (Brazil)
UFC APEX, Las Vegas. USA
A new UFC Fight Night will take place in Las Vegas. In the main event, the Georgian fighter Giga Chikadze will face the almost legendary Brazilian Edson Barboza.
Giga Chikadze: can knock out at first
Chikadze started his martial arts career in karate but made his name in kickboxing. He fought there a lot and fought successfully. He is a pronounced puncher, who gets stronger and stronger with every MMA fight. It is funny that only in his last fights he was really breaking his opponents open and destroying them with his high kicks, in his first fights in UFC it was nowhere near.
Giga Chikaze's last 5 fights
The 33-year-old Georgian has 13 wins (7 KOs, 2 KOs) and 2 losses (1 KO, 1 by decision) in his overall MMA pro record. He suffered his last loss in the summer of 2018 at the Dana White's Contender Series. Since then, he has won 8 straight fights, including 6 in the UFC. He is currently ranked #10 in the league's welterweight division rankings.
In his previous fight against Kaba Swanson, Giga ended it in the first round, in the 63rd second of the fight. The Georgian fought a devastating blow to the liver of his opponent. After that, Swanson could not continue the fight. The referee had to interfere to stop the finishing Chikadze.
The Georgian destroyed Jamie Simmons even more spectacularly with a high kick:
Chikadze is approaching the next fight with a little bit of excitement. Well, of course, Edson Barboza is a very big name and the Georgian fighter has never had an opponent of that level.
He's a terrific fighter, he's a big name. I would say Barboza is still a legend in the UFC. I decided to fight him because he's an amazing fighter, one of the best strikers in the UFC. And I love working in the standup as well. Everything points to this being some kind of fireworks fight. And that's the only reason I mentioned his name. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. What I can see in Barboza's punch is that he's admirable. He has all the tools he uses well in the cage. And I can see the gaps. I think I'm on another level. Barboza can't be written off. He's not such an easy fighter, he's a great puncher. And people love him. It's going to be a tough fight, but I believe I can win.
Edson Barboza: only fought with the elite over the past few years
Giga Chikadze had not yet thought about MMA, while Barboza was fighting mad wars with the very elite of the promotion. There are some really big names in his record:
- Donald Cerrone (defeat by submission);
- Paul Felder (win by unanimous decision and defeat by split decision);
- Tony Ferguson (defeat by submission);
- Anthony Pettis (win by unanimous decision);
- Khabib Nurmagomedov (defeat by unanimous decision);
- Dan Hooker (win by KO);
- Justin Gagee (loss by knockout).
In general, Giga Chikadze has never even dreamed of fighting against such an opponent. And in his last fight (in May of this year) Barboza spectacularly knocked out Shane Burgos. Right now he has 22 wins (12 KO's and 2 TKO's) and 9 losses (3 KO's, 2 TKO's) on his record. He's always around, but he still lost his most important fights.
When I was asked to face Chikaze, I knew it would be a great fight. I also knew that our confrontation would attract the fans, and they would watch us fight. So I didn't have an ounce of doubt that I would take it. My goal is to go out and have fun. I know that if I go out there and give it my all, it's going to be a very exciting confrontation. I never make predictions or say I'm going to knock out my opponent or anything like that. Because I always just go to fight. I have 25 fights in the UFC and in all of them I've given it my all.
Expert betting tips
We can expect a knockout in a fight of pronounced strikers. There will be no fiddling here, the guys will fight from the heart. Whoever makes the first mistake will go to the kingdom of Morpheus. It's interesting that when the prices were just published the bookies' odds were about equal, but the closer they were to the fight the lower the odds were to Barboza. It's hard to say what it's connected to, maybe it's the line-up overload, or maybe the bookies have worked it out and they see that the Brazilian's form is a little bit better. Either way, the bettor here is something to think about.
Either one can win and neither outcome will be sensational. The only thing more or less certain is that the fight will end early.
Here are the most interesting odds from the analysts of different bookmakers:
- Barboza to win for 1.80;
- Chikadze to win for 2.00;
- TO 3.5 for 1.87.