Edson Barboza vs Giga Chikadze
August 28, 2021 11:55 pm EDT
The Line: Giga Chikadze -115 / Edson Barboza -105
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Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze fight Saturday in UFC on ESPN 30 at the UFC Apex. Barboza enters this fight with a 22-9 record and has won 59 percent of his fights by knockout. Chikadze enters this fight with a 13-2 record and has won 62 percent of his fights by knockout.
Barboza has split his last 10 fights and is coming off a May win over Shane Burgos. Barboza is averaging 4.16 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. Barboza is averaging 0.42 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. Barboza is coming off a knockout win at UFC 262 where he landed 98 total strikes and 51 percent of his significant strikes. The bout earned fight of the night honors. Barboza is known for his leg work and is one of the best in the sport thanks to a deep kickboxing background and being a black belt in Taekwondo. Allow Barboza to stand up and fight from the outside, he’s going to pick apart his opponent and chop away until they can’t move. Barboza is a black belt in Muay Thai and a black belt in BJJ as well. Barboza has a high takedown defensive percentage and doesn’t take a ton of damage on the feet. At 35 years old, Barboza is a technical fighter who is what he is at this point and is going to be the aggressor in most fights. This will be Barboza’s sixth career fight in Nevada.
Chikadze has won each of his last eight fights and is coming off a May win over Cub Swanson. Chikadze is averaging 3.55 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. Chikadze is averaging 0.38 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Chikadze is coming off a knockout win at UFC Vegas 25 where he landed 12 total strikes. The victory earned performance of the night honors, which Chikadze has earned in his last two bouts. Chikadze is now 6-1 under the UFC banner and hasn’t lost a fight since Dana White’s Contender Series 10. Chikadze is a long, rangy fighter with a black belt in Gōjū-ryū Karate and has a deep kickboxing background. Chikadze uses his distance well and uses his legs mostly standing up. Chikadze can mix in a punch here and there, but he’s most deadly with his legs and and he doesn’t take a lot of damage on the feet. Chikadze also has decent takedown defense and doesn’t make it easy for his opponent to close the distance. Chikadze has never been knocked out in his career. This will be Chikadze’s sixth career fight in Nevada.
This is going to be a fun fight between two guys with similar styles. There’s going to be a lot of leg kicks. Barboza is the veteran and the bigger name, but he’s also been hit or miss these last few years and it’s hard to be 100 percent confident on which fighter you’re going to get. Chikadze has a size advantage here, is the younger, faster fighter at this stage and he’s got a ton of momentum with back-to-back first round knockouts. It’s hard not to be impressed with Chikadze at the moment.
Give me Chikadze in this toss up fight.