LAS VEGAS – Giga Chikadzeis aiming high in the rankings.
The rising UFC featherweight contender wants to take on a high-caliber opponent following his most recent win inside the octagon. Chikadze (13-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) put away veteran Cub Swanson a little more than a minute into their co-main event at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 23 event in Las Vegas.
Chikadze stopped Swanson (27-12 MMA, 12-8 UFC) with strikes after a body kick that folded Swanson and sent him down to the canvas. After the performance, the Georgian fighter didn’t hesitate to call out former UFC champion Max Holloway and top contender Calvin Kattar.
“I was in Georgia when Max fought Calvin. I was doing commentary for the fight, and I enjoyed this fight, and every time he was doing something nice I was like, ‘I want to fight him. I want to fight him,’” Chikadze told MMA Junkie at the UFC on ESPN 23 post-fight news conference. “I feel like after this type of performance, I might get it – if not, then I might get (Kattar).”
Chikadze is now on an eight-fight winning streak with six of those victories being under the UFC lights. He’s currently ranked in the top 15 of the UFC’s 145-pound division.
The former GLORY kickboxer made big headlines with his callouts of Holloway and Kattar, but it wasn’t the only talking point from his bout. His finish over Swanson was one for the highlight reel.
“I’ve been in this moment many times with my kick,” Chikadze said. “My liver kick – my ‘Giga kick’ – this type of kick that you hurt somebody but they’re still not unconscious, they still feel everything and they can see it. It kind of blocks your body to do everything. I’ve been doing this in karate and kickboxing and I’ve had this type of experience every time. When I felt that, I realized I had already won the fight. I saw what the referee was doing and because he did’t stop me I continued just to make him think that it’s over.”