Fans of the iconic game Mortal Kombat were thrilled this year with the release of a new movie inspired by the game. Georgian fighter Giga Chikadze is clearly one of them. Tenth place in the UFC featherweight ranking, he is in the main event of this Saturday’s event against Brazilian Edson Barboza (O Combat broadcasts live from 8pm Brasília time), and says that his motivation for the confrontation is exactly the similarity he may have to the game’s actions.
– I feel like we’re two ninjas and it’s like the real Mortal Kombat. You can say it’s kind of like Sub-Zero vs Scorpion or something. I know about two or three months ago the new Mortal Kombat movie came out, and this one is Mortal Kombat 2! – joked Giga in an interview with Combat this week.
“Sub-Zero” Giga Chikadze will face “Scorpion” Edson Barboza in Saturday’s UFC — Photo: Infoesporte
The comparison makes some sense: in the game, Sub-Zero and Scorpion are similar style kickboxers, as are Chikadze and Barboza. The two are known for their powerful kicks. While the Brazilian takes aim at the legs and head, the Georgian does his damage with the “Giga Kick” at the waistline.
This duel of changers who are always looking for the knockout interested Chikadze. He initially wanted to face a top 5 fighter, but agreed to face Edson, ninth.
– It was difficult to find an opponent in the top 5. There was one that needed an opponent, I offered, but he didn’t accept. This happens to me all the time. But even if Edson wasn’t in the top 15, he’s the right fight. He’s a ninja to fight and has a bigger name than some in the top 5. The only one bigger, maybe not bigger but similar, would be Max Holloway, who everyone wants to face. But when we talk about a standup Mortal Kombat fight with me, it’s Edson.
Giga Chikadze poses during an interview for Combate in Las Vegas — Photo: Evelyn Rodrigues
There is obvious admiration in Giga Chikadze’s words about Edson Barboza. The Georgian, who trains with master Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA and is also very curious about Brazil – he even said he wanted to go dancing forró in Fortaleza – watched many fights by the Friburger when he was still competing in muay thai and only dreamed of making the transition for MMA.
– Before joining the UFC, of course I knew who Edson Barboza was, of course I watched, I’m a fan of MMA. He has some of the most spectacular knockouts, and his highlights are some of the best. I would say that maybe they are the best in the UFC, but sorry Edson, I’m going to take this position! (laughs) But he’s a very good fighter, a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to facing him – declared Giga.
For his part, Edson seems to agree. Despite avoiding getting into the exchange of provocations about who is the best striker, he is excited for the confrontation:
– You see on paper, it’s the kind of fight I want to watch. I’m sure it’s going to be a war! He’s an excellent striker, he proved it, and I’ve been proving for almost 11 years that I’m one of the best. It’s going to be a war! – guaranteed the ninth place in the ranking.
This Saturday’s event also highlights the finals of season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter, which returned this year. At bantamweight, Ricky Turcios competes for the title against Brady Hiestand, and at middleweight, Bryan Battle faces Gilbert Urbina for the trophy. The preliminary card also has the Brazilian Wellington Turman, who faces the American Sam Alvey.
O Combat broadcasts the “UFC Barboza x Chikadze” live and in its entirety with exclusivity this Saturday, from 8 pm (Brasilia time) with the “Combat Warming“. O Combat YouTube channel it’s the Combat.com show the first two fights live, and the website follows the event in real time.
UFC Barboza vs Chikadze
August 28, 2021, in Las Vegas (USA)
MAIN CARD (11:00 pm, Brasília time):
Featherweight: Edson Barboza x Giga Chikadze
Middleweight: Bryan Battle vs. Gilbert Urbina
Bantamweight: Ricky Turcios x Brady Hiestand
Welterweight: Kevin Lee vs Daniel Rodriguez
Middleweight: Andre Petroski vs. Micheal Gillmore
Middleweight: Makhmud Muradov vs. Gerald Meerschaert
PRELIMINARY CARD (20h, Brasília time):
Middleweight: Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Alessio Di Chirico
Middleweight: Sam Alvey vs. Wellington Turman
Light Heavyweight: Dustin Jacoby v Darren Stewart
Flyweight: JJ Aldrich x Vanessa Demopoulos
Featherweight: Jamall Emmers vs. Pat Sabatini
Bantamweight: Mana Martinez vs Guido Cannetti
Knockouts duel in the main event of the night. It’s live only in Combate!