At UFC Vegas 35, Giga Chikadze was able to boost his argument of being the best striker in the UFC when he defeated Edson Barboza. Barboza has long been regarded as one of the best strikers in UFC history and his list of knockouts support that distinction, but this time it was Barboza on the wrong side of a TKO when Chikadze finished him last night.
This victory now makes nine straight wins for Chikadze and a 7-0 record inside the UFC. Given all his other accolades in combat sports, the 33-year-old feels it’s time for a title shot.
“I’m here for a title shot. I can wait. I had the word before that I was gonna get a top-5 guy, but nobody (accepted),” Chikadze said during the UFC Vegas 35 post-fight show on ESPN+. “Kattar wanted to fight end of the year; Yair never took a challenge to fight me when Max pulled out. I was there two weeks’ notice and even less, but he didn’t accept the fight. And I was a little bit intense to call him out, but he didn’t even respond. And I don’t know who else (wants a title shot more than me). I definitely deserve (it).
“What I’ve done, look at this: two-time world champion in karate, two-time world champion in kickboxing…and I’m talking about the highest level…highest level of kickboxing and karate,” Chikadze continued. “And then, you come to UFC and you have a (seven-fight) win streak? It’s not just a regular fighter who has a (seven-fight) win streak inside the Octagon.”
Chikadze entered last night’s main event as the #10-ranked featherweight in the world, so he’ll more than likely be at least 1-2 wins away from getting his wish, but the Georgian did volunteer to be the short-notice backup fighter for the upcoming Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega title fight at UFC 266 next month.
At the post-fight press conference, Dana White was asked if Chikadze could serve as the backup for the Volkanovski/Ortega bout. The UFC president was uncertain if he’d take Chikadze up on that proposal, but he did express his approval to the initiative and willingness to serve that function.
Whom would you like to see Giga Chikadze fight next after defeating Edson Barboza at UFC Vegas 35?