The Ultimate Fighter finally returned to us earlier this year in June for season 29. Now, three months later, at the end of August, we have the finale at UFC on ESPN 30.
Headlining the event is an incredible featherweight bout between two former kickboxing champions, Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze.
Barboza went 25-3 as a professional, while Chikadze went 38-6 as a professional, each of them securing 22 knockout victories before starting their mixed martial arts careers.
Now, Barboza has found a new home at 145 lbs, coming into the bout on a two, should be three, or maybe even four-fight win streak, while Chikadze is on an eight-fight win streak coming in, having gone 6-0 thus far inside the octagon.
Continue reading to see how this epic featherweight main event went down:
Official Result: Giga Chikadze def. Edson Barboza via TKO (punches) at 1:44 of round three
Chikadze comes out looking incredible early on, very fast and very accurate, and switching stances often. He opens up the bout with a leg kick, which is returned by Barboza, before Chikadze gets to work with his striking attack.
This consisted of body kicks, head kicks, and his punches to the head of all sorts, particularly that cross.
Chikadze opens up round two in a similar way, but he starts to slow down a tad toward the middle of it.
At this time, Barboza, who’d been pursuing the action the entire time, was starting to have success for the first time in the fight. He landed some brutal leg kicks, along with some nice jabs that backed Chikadze up.
Though Barboza looked much better this round, it was still quite close.
Chikadze lands a nasty knee to the body, followed by a cross that stunned Barboza. He continued to attack the Brazilian for about a minute, even locking him up in an anaconda choke. It was pretty close to being a wrap right there. Wouldn’t that have been something…
Instead, he let go of the choke and continued to strike the Brazilian, landing another combination that dropped him, and the fight was stopped.
This was a true coming out party for one of the best strikers in all of MMA, Giga Chikadze! Remember that name, we’ll be hearing a lot about him in the coming few years.
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.