Edson Barboza vs Gigi Chikadze: Preview of UFC on ESPN showdown

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The featherweights meet Saturday in what guarantees to be a troublesome war for both the 11-one year dilapidated and the up-and-comer who has been unstoppable.

The war world is buckling up for a sparkling bout, as featherweights Edson Barboza and Gigi Chikadze meet this Saturday in the UFC on ESPN main event.

Eleven years into his UFC occupation, Barboza (22–9) appears to be like to be better than ever. He’s going to enter this war with an incredibly shredded physique, ready for a troublesome war in opposition to Chikadze (13–2), who has been nearly unstoppable in the cage.

“It’s loopy, I’m 35 years susceptible and I in truth feel better than ever,” says Barboza. “Earlier than, I was too laborious on my physique. Factual now, I am very healthy. I’ve learned about my work, and this used to be the accurate camp of my occupation.”


Ranked ninth in the division, Barboza approved the war in opposition to Chikadze, who’s ranked a predicament beneath him at 10. Chikadze has been on a plug, winning eight in a row and 13 out of his closing 14. He had been kickboxing and competing in MMA concurrently, using the cash from kickboxing to serve finance his MMA pursuits, but his occupation took on novel lifestyles used to be he entirely shifted to blended martial arts.

“That used to be in truth laborious,” Chikadze says of his time doing both sports actions. It used to be when he had a likelihood on the Contender Sequence that he determined to discontinuance kickboxing and focal level fully on MMA, doing more jiu-jitsu and wrestling. “I wished to clutch those steps to evolve in MMA. In the waste, I now in truth feel enjoy a total fighter.”

Chikadze has been so dominant since fully committing to MMA four years in the past, many top-ranked opponents desire nothing to attain with him in the cage. 

“No varied top opponents wanted to war me besides Barboza,” says Chikadze. “My establish is aloof novel in UFC, but no person has striking enjoy me. Of us will know my vogue after this war.”

The 32-one year-susceptible Chikadze possesses the dimensions, will and backbone to stress Barboza, which, amazingly, is allotment of the reason why Barboza approved the war.

“He’s hard, and that’s why I took the war,” says Barboza. “I desire those that verify this war to verbalize, ‘Bro, I are making an strive to comprise a examine that war.’ And it’s a likelihood for me in the main event. It would per chance well be a war.

“I want to head in there and achieve my job. The company is appreciating how laborious I work, and that’s why I am in the main event, so here is highly vital for me. I even comprise loads to prove here.”

Right here is the key main-event bout for Chikadze, who’s proudly representing the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

“I am honored to comprise such toughen from my country and utter them in the main event,” says Chikadze. “This war is for everyone motivate dwelling. They’ve been waiting to glimpse a Georgian fighter headline a UFC card.

“Barboza has done loads in the sport, he has a in reality though-provoking vogue and rather plenty of highlights. There could be a reason his videos are so standard in the MMA world. I’m having a stare to develop but any other highlight, but for me with an though-provoking highlight of how I knocked him out. I’ve been working for this a in reality very long time. After this war, folks are going to know my establish. Factual now, folks are perfect talking about what he’s done. But my time is coming up. Right here is the war I’ve been making an strive forward to my total lifestyles.”

Chikadze’s time is inevitable, but Barboza seeks to take care of off his challenger’s upward thrust to prominence for as a minimal one more war.

“I’m aloof hungry,” says Barboza. “I desire more. I’m ready to war. This is prone to be hard. Put collectively for war.”

Justin Barrasso would per chance well furthermore be reached at [email protected]. Note him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.

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