– If Max wants, we’ll fight. But I want to fight for the belt. This was my seventh win in a row, and I think it’s the fastest walk in the division – I haven’t even been in the UFC for two years and I’ve always accepted every chance the UFC has given me, I’ve never turned down any fight. I won bonuses in my last three fights. It’s time to fight for the title.
Analyzing the fight with Barboza, Chikadze joked that the fight was a duel worthy of the game “Mortal Kombat”, and analyzed that both fighters had their chances of winning in the first two rounds, but in the third he managed to capitalize better to come out with the victory.
– Being in the Octagon with Edson Barboza was definitely like being in Mortal Kombat. It was like we were two ninjas, maybe Sub-Zero and Scorpion facing off. He came in really strong, and I felt like I was up against one of the strongest guys at featherweight. And when you see that Edson Barboza is in front of you, you hear people cheering for him and his name being announced, even if he were small, he would become big with all this. But I’m a professional, I controlled my emotions and I enjoyed the moment. In the first round I think I caused problems for him at times, even with him taking the initiative in the fight and I counterattacked. I had a moment of superiority, but I let it go. In the second round he was the one who had the chance, and he wasted it. In the third round I got my chance and again and capitalized with a nice knockout.
According to Chikadze, even with Barboza having attacked him with force, the strategy outlined by his coach, Brazilian Rafael Cordeiro, and the guidelines given at intervals were responsible for his victory.
– I felt some strong kicks. This guy was known, before our fight, as the best striker and the owner of the best shot, and that’s what I expected from him. He faced some of the best at lightweight, so I expected him to be really strong. But we did our job. Rafael Cordeiro told me a few times to keep doing what I had done so far, because I was doing well and I just needed to control my emotions and move a lot, never to be stopped in front of Edson. My boxing and kicking were working, and I just needed to be precise. And I went.