We’ve just been informed of an incredibly exciting matchup between two kickboxing champions, as well as two ranked featherweight contenders in Edson Barboza (No. 9) and Giga Chikadze (No. 10).
Once the bout agreements are signed, the contest is expected to headline UFC Fight Night 192 at a to be determined venue on August 28, 2021.
We have so many wicked strikers at 145 lbs, it was only a matter of time before a couple of them got matched up together, and we finally have the first of many to come lined up!
It’s too bad Hakeem Dawodu lost his last fight to Movsar Evloev, because he would’ve been great to throw in there as well, being 9-0 as a professional kickboxer and 42-5 as an amateur.
However, Barboza and Chikadze both are more experienced as professionals.
Barboza went 25-3 as a professional with 22 knockouts, while Chikadze went 38-6, also with 22 knockouts.
Both have adopted that into very successful mixed martial arts careers as well.
Barboza was perhaps one of, if not the most dangerous lightweight in the world for years and years, staying inside the top six of the division for a considerable amount of time.
After going 1-4 in his last five at 155 lbs, Barboza decided to move down to 145 lbs, where he’s gone 2-1 thus far, 3-0 in many peoples minds. He lost a very controversial split decision to Dan Ige in his divisional debut, but has rebounded with beautiful performances over Makwan Amirkhani (UD) and Shane Burgos (KO).
Chikadze on the other hand has been perfect thus far into his UFC career, going 6-0, and improving his record to 13-2. Barboza just improved his record to 22-9 with his most recent victory as well.
Not only do they have successful careers in two different combat sports, but they’re both ranked in striking arts as well. Chikadze is a 3rd-degree black belt in Goju-ryu karate, while Barboza boasts black belts in both Muay Thai and Taekwondo.
Barboza is perhaps the most well rounded striker this sport has seen. The only one that really compares is a prime Anderson Silva. Yes, we have guys like Israel Adesanya and Stephen Thompson, who are likely better strikers, but they still can’t do everything Barboza can.
For instance, Barboza has knockout victories with his hands, both to the body and head. He knocks his opponents out with kicks of all varieties, both to the body and the head. He has more than one knockout victory via leg kicks, and he has knockout victories with his knees.
Barboza is as dangerous as they come on the feet, but Chikadze is no stranger to winning stand up fights.
Who walks away from this epic featherweight contest the victor?
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.