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Giga Chikadze of Georgia reacts after his knockout victory over Edson Barboza of Brazil in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 28, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Giga Chikadze Knocks Out Edson Barboza at UFC Vegas 35

Aug 302021

Monster Energy congratulates Giga Chikadze on his spectacular technical knockout victory over Edson Barboza at UFC Vegas 35 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday night. In the Main Event fight in the featherweight division, the 33-year-old from Tbilisi, Georgia, stopped his opponent with punches at 1:44 minutes of Round 3. Chikadze also earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, his third consecutive UFC knockout, and post-fight bonus.

UFC Fight Night: Barboza VS Chikadze took place on Saturday night with limited fan attendance at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. Broadcast live on ESPN, UFC Vegas 35 also marked the season finale of the reality television show The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). The newly crowned TUF champions are Bryan Battle (middleweight) and Ricky Turcios (bantamweight).

As the latest addition to Monster Energy’s mixed martial arts roster, Chikadze (14-2) stepped into Saturday’s main event with eight consecutive victories under his belt. The karate and kickboxing expert who trains at Kings MMA had finished his last two fights via technical knockout, both in the first round. He stopped Jamey Simmons in November 2020 and Cub Swanson in May 2021; each time earning a Performance of the Night bonus.

Chikadze faced a serious opponent in Edson Barboza (22-10). The 35-year-old Brazilian is known as one of the UFC’s premier knockout artists and most recently stopped Shane Burgos at UFC 262 to earn the Fight of the Night bonus award.

When the Octagon door closed on Saturday night, both fighters lost no time to attack with leg kicks and jabs. The first round saw the opponents landing significant body kicks and finding openings for punches, with Chikadze gaining a slight upper hand in this meeting of two talented strikers.

 

In the second round, Chikadze continued to connect body kicks and fast punches while Barboza retaliated with punishing calf kicks. The fight escalated in round three when Chikadze rocked Barboza with a hard left, followed by a right to the chin that wobbled the Brazilian. Quick to pursue, Chikadze launched into an Anaconda choke attempt, but ultimately finished his opponent in a flurry of punches.

 

Referee Jason Herzog stopped the fight at 1:44 minutes of Round 3 with Chikadze as the winner by TKO and recipient of a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.

 

“Now it’s my time. It’s Giga time… It’s different, so guys please make sure to put yourself on a Giga train and ride with me,” said Monster Energy’s Chikadze after winning the Main Event fight at UFC Vegas 35.

 

Saturday night’s win brings Chikadze’s professional record to fourteen wins and two losses. Before making his UFC debut in 2019, he earned titles as the karate world champion (2008) and kickboxing world champion (2013). Chikadze remains undefeated in seven fights in the UFC.

What’s next for Chikadze? In his Octagon interview with Paul Felder, the Georgian fighter specifically called out Max Holloway and put the entire 145-pound division on notice: “I finished the guys who are absolute legends of the sport. Honestly, I’m here to fight the best fights, biggest names. If it’s a title shot, I would like to be a replacement fighter.” 

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