Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 35, we will see a big time fight in the featherweight division. Two of the best strikers in the division will go head-to-head as Edson Barboza (22-9) takes on Giga Chikadze (13-2).
For Chikadze, this is by far the biggest fight of his UFC career. Thus far, the featherweight from Georgia has been perfect inside the octagon. Chikadze made his debut back in 2019 and he’s gone a perfect 6-0.
In his last fight, Chikadze took on the veteran Cub Swanson. In that fight, Chikadze was able to secure his second straight UFC first round finish and that win has vaulted him into this main event against Barboza.
If you want to find a guy who’s done nothing but fought the best of the best, look no further than Edson Barboza. The Brazilian’s strength of schedule is like no other and he finally looks at home at 145 pounds.
For years, Barboza was taking on the murderer’s row at lightweight. But then he moved to the UFC‘s featherweight division and has been instantly successful. If it weren’t for terrible judges, he would be a perfect 3-0 at 145, but instead he’s 1-2.
UFC Vegas 35 Prediction
This is such a fun fight and one that UFC fans should be incredibly excited for. If you can’t get excited for this fight, I’m not sure what to tell you. It’s always fun when you have two supremely technical strikers go head-to-head.
When you look at Chikadze, he looks like a sniper. He loves throwing kicks to the body and he’s always on the outside looking for perfect shots. Meanwhile Barboza is all about speed and explosion.
The speed is going to play a big factor in my opinion. Throughout his UFC career, we’ve seen Barboza stifle opponents who just couldn’t handle the speed of the strikes and he seems to be getting even better.
Now, Chikadze does have the precision to make Barboza think. Chikadze is a good enough striker where if Barboza is sloppy at all, he’s going to pay for it. That said, I don’t think Chikadze has the pop to put Barboza out and he’s not going to win on volume. To me, this is Edson Barboza’s fight to lose.
Prediction: Edson Barboza by TKO – Round 3