MMA

Giga Chikadze vs. Edson Barboza – UFC Vegas 35 Preview

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Giga Chikadze will be taking on Muay Thai specialist Edson Barboza in the main event of UFC Vegas 35. UFC Vegas 35 will also showcase the Ultimate Fighter 29 middleweight and bantamweight finale. Bryan Battle will be taking on Gilbert Urbina in the middleweight finale, while Ricky Turcios will be fighting Brady Hiestand in the bantamweight finale.

Giga Chikadze

Giga Chikadze will come into this fight with a 6-0 UFC record. In that span of six fights, Chikadze has finished Cub Swanson and Jamey Simmons. He also has decision wins over Omar Morales, Irwin Rivera, Jamall Emmers, and Brandon Davis. Giga Chikadze has never been knocked out in his professional career and has only been submitted once. That one submission loss came against Austin Springer on the Dana White Contender Series in 2018. Eight of Chikadze’s 13 professional wins are by way of knockout. His professional career started in the lightweight division, where he fought seven out of his 15 pro fights.

Giga Chikadze also had an extensive professional kickboxing career from 2008-2017. He had a professional kickboxing record of 38-6, fighting for Glory Kickboxing for the last two years of his kickboxing career. He fought top-level competition in kickboxing, having matches against guys like Kevin VanNostrand, Tayfun Ozcan, Abraham Roqueni, and Shemsi Beqiri. Chikadze is a third-degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate. He currently trains at Kings MMA in California.

Edson Barboza

Edson Barboza has a black prajied in Muay Thai and a 17-time Brazilian Muay Thai champion, and also holds a black belt in Taekwondo. On the mat, Barboza holds a brown belt in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Almeida. He also had a pretty long kickboxing career before his move to MMA, racking up a 22-9 professional record.

Barboza will come into this fight on a two-fight winning streak. He knocked out Shane Burgos in May and won a decision over Makwan Amirkhani in October of 2020. Of his 22 professional wins, 13 of those wins are knockouts. He has been knocked out in three of his nine losses as well. Those knockout losses come against Justin Gaethje, Kevin Lee, and Jamie Varner. The loss against Varner was in 2012 and the loss against Lee was considered a doctor stoppage. Barboza has won fight of the night in the UFC eight times, tying Nate Diaz and Frankie Edgar for the most Fight of the Night bonuses in UFC history.

The Matchup

Both men have a ton of experience in professional kickboxing, with Barboza being more fluent in Muay Thai and Taekwando, while Chikadze is more proficient in Karate. Barboza has always been known to be extremely tough and having brutal leg kicks, while Chikadze is also very durable and has powerful body kicks. This fight will come down to which fighter comes in with the better gameplan and executes that gameplan correctly.

UFC Vegas 35 Fight Card

Main Card ( ESPN / ESPN+)

  • Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze
  • Bryan Battle vs. Gilbert Urbina
  • Ricky Turcios vs. Brady Hiestand
  • Kevin Lee vs. Daniel Rodriguez
  • Andre Petroski vs. Michael Gillmore
  • Makhmud Muradov vs. Gerald Meerschaert

Preliminary Card (ESPN / ESPN+)

  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
  • Sam Alvey vs. Wellington Turman
  • Dustin Jacoby vs. Darren Stewart
  • JJ Aldrich vs. Vanessa Demopoulos
  • Jamall Emmers vs. Pat Sabatini
  • Mana Martinez vs. Guido Cannetti

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My name is Michael Lynch. I’m originally from Long Island, NY, but I reside in Columbia, Sc. I’ve been covering MMA for almost two years now. I’ve covered events such as Island fights and the PFL. I also have a YouTube channel where I do fight companions and UFC fight previews. I have recently started to train in mma and would like to have my first fight in 2020. I believe that as a journalist I need to experience what these fighters go threw, in order to understand their POV.

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