#10-ranked featherweight contender Chikadze is set to face #9-ranked Barboza in what many expect to be a striking extravaganza for the ages. The bout will take place this weekend at the UFC APEX as the main headline event. Both striking experts in their own right, the fight will be an important matchup for the featherweight division, as both are vying to crack into the top five with a win.
In a recent interview with BJPENN.com, Chikadze expressed how he believes that Barboza will try to shoot for a takedown once the Brazilian realizes how superior his striking will be.
“I think he will try and take me down,” said Chikadze. “He will start with striking and then he will see the difference in the level of striking we have and he will shoot. He’ll be shocked when he sees how much better of a striker I am, that we are on different levels. He will then turn into a wrestler and will try and take me down.”
Prior to the win, the 32-year-old was on a seven-fight-winning streak with wins over the likes of Irwin Rivera, Omar Morales, and Jamey Simmons, which saw the Georgian fighter go 4-0 in 2020. Chikadze has aspirations of being a champion and a win against a big name like Barboza could propel him into being in title contention very soon.
Standing across the cage, Barboza was last seen in action against Shane Burgos back in May where the Brazilian native scored a viral KO at UFC 262. Barboza has seen a recent resurgence after dropping down to the featherweight division. A win against Chikadze would establish Barboza as a serious threat in the featherweight division.
Who do you see winning in this exciting striking matchup?