Giga Chikadze scored the biggest win of his career in the main event of UFC Vegas 35, knocking out striking great Edson Barboza in the third round.
Striking fans were in for a treat in the main event of UFC Vegas 35. The featherweight showdown had veteran Edson Barboza, looking as good as ever since dropping to 145lbs, up against surging Georgian Giga Chikadze.
The winner would move one step closer to title contention in a division short on contenders, though not talent, at the moment.
Kicks were flying on both sides early. Barboza had the center of the Octagon as Chikadze landed a leg kick. Chikadze went to the body and the leg with kicks and Barboza answered with a leg kick of his own. A head kick came flying through for Chikadze but came up short. Barboza landed a leg kick after a missed flying knee. A spinning back kick followed by an overhand right landed for Chikadze, who lost his footing after running into a left hand. A body kick connected for Barboza, who blocked a head kick. A beautiful body kick connected for Chikadze and he followed up with more strikes as Barboza backed away.
Giga tried to build on the momentum he had at the end of the first round with a stiff jab at the start of the second. A sharp straight left hand landed for Chikadze followed by a body kick. Barboza landed a strong leg kick and ate a body kick from Chikadze. Barboza began throwing body punches. Chikadze landed a big hook, but Barboza was settling in. Another big leg kick found the mark for Barboza, who was much improved after the first round.
A glimpse of the "Giga Kick" 👀
— UFC (@ufc) August 29, 2021
Barboza landed a jab as Chikadze landed a leg kick. A lunging right hand rocked Barboza and Chikadze smelled blood. He continued landing bombs and knocked Barboza down, pouncing on him. Barboza got a hold of a leg so Chikadze tried an anaconda choke. Barboza survived that, so Giga switched to a d’arce, which Barboza also survived. They returned to the feet and one more big shot rocked Barboza and that was that. A huge top 10 win for Chikadze, who called out Max Holloway after the fight.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 29, 2021
Giga Chikadze def. Edson Barboza by TKO (Punches) in Round 3 (1:44)