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Giga Chikadze plans to smash Edson Barboza, play backup for Volkanovski-Ortega at UFC 266

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UFC Fight Night: Chikadze v Simmons Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will separate contender from pretender when Giga Chikadze and Edson Barboza collide in the UFC Vegas 35 featherweight main event this Sat. night (Aug. 28, 2021) inside APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chikadze (13-2) fell to Austin Springer on Dana White’s “Contender Series” back in June 2018 but has been electric ever since, to the tune of eight straight wins with four finishes. “Ninja” was last seen putting the hurt on Cub Swanson at UFC on ESPN 23.

LIVE! Stream UFC 266 Here

CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLEHEADER! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to T-Mobile Arena with a pair of thrilling world championship bouts. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 coaches collide when Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, defends his title against No. 2-ranked contender, Brian Ortega. UFC 266’s co-main event will see women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko go for her sixth consecutive title defense when she meets No. 3-seeded contender, Lauren Murphy. Last, and certainly not least, Nick Diaz returns against former Welterweight roost ruler, Robbie Lawler, in a five-round banger.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“I think (Barboza) will try and take me down,” Chikadze told BJPenn.com. “He will start with striking and then he will see the difference in the level of striking we have and he will shoot. He’ll be shocked when he sees how much better of a striker I am, that we are on different levels. He will then turn into a wrestler and will try and take me down.”

The winner of Chikadze vs. Barboza will sit atop a very short list of title contenders, one that includes the winner of the Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez showdown in November. But “Ninja” may use his UFC Vegas 35 victory to sneak in the back door.

“I want a title shot,” Chikadze continued. “I’ll be the backup fighter for the title fight between (Alexander) Volkanovski and (Brian) Ortega at UFC 266. After I finish this fight, I think I will be able to be the backup fighter for the title fight in September. Holloway and Rodriguez are booked for November, so it makes sense that I’ll be the backup fighter.”

UFC 266 takes place Sept. 25 in Las Vegas.