Extending his promotional-perfect run to six straight fights at UFC Vegas 25 on Saturday — Georgian striking ace, Giga Chikadze turned in the most high-profile victory of his professional mixed martial arts career to date, in the form of a stunning liver kick stoppage of longtime contender, Cub Swanson.
The Kings MMA mainstay took co-main event honours beneath his fellow European, Jiri Prochazka’s light heavyweight headliner against former title challenger, Dominick Reyes, and if Prochazka hadn’t launched a stunning spinning back elbow knockout win, Chikadze would have likely taken the most impressive stoppage win of the night, to go along with his Performance bonus.
Starting quickly against featherweight staple, Swanson, Chikadze had threatened with a couple high-kicks prior to the finish, before switching his target downstairs with a stiff kick to Swanson’s liver, immediately drawing a significant reaction from the Palm Springs veteran.
Following up with a series of ground strikes, Chikadze forced the issue with just over a minute elapsed in the opening round, lodging his sixth UFC win, as part of an overall eight-fight undefeated streak.
After the matchup, Chikadze spoke with reporters assembled backstage as part of his post-fight press conference, where he noted his interest in sharing the Octagon with the recently eligible to compete again, Yair Rodriguez in his next UFC walk.
“I’m going to say something I really want to say:” Chikadze explained. “If the and Dana (White) and Sean (Shelby) really want to see… something special, I think (me) versus Yair Rodriguez will be a real ninja fight. At some point, I believe this fight has to happen. It has to be real Mortal Kombat. I would love this fight, and plus, he’s been pulling out of fights for the last few times, and I’m not that dangerous,” Chikadze joked. (H/T MMA Fighting)
Chihuahua striking standout, Rodriguez has been eligible to return to active competition since March 6th. last — following a six-month retroactive suspension by anti-doping agency, USADA, after he failed to notify the agency of his whereabouts, as well as failing to make himself available for drug testing.
Failing to make an Octagon appearance since UFC Fight Night Boston back in October of 2019, Rodriguez took home a rematch unanimous decision win over longtime contender, Jeremy Stephens.
Booked to meet with Dagestan feature, Zabit Magomedsharipov on multiple occasions over the course of last year, Rodriguez was forced to withdraw from a UFC Vegas 8 headliner against Zabit in August due to an ankle injury.