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Giga Chikadze claims he released fight-ending submission to knockout Edson Barboza — ‘I let it go’

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UFC Fight Night: Barboza v Chikadze Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Hopefully you didn't have the “Giga Chikadze by submission” prop bet.

Turns out the 33 year-old “Ninja” could have easily won his UFC Vegas 35 main event against Edson Barboza by submission, but since he promised to knockout the Brazilian featherweight, Chikadze instead released the hold and returned to his feet.

It's the old Sean Salmon trick, in reverse.

“I wanted to finish at some point with a submission but then I realized what I said — I said that I was going to knock him out,” Chikadze told MMA Fighting. “When I had him in the D’arce [choke], I could finish him but then I realized that I wanted to knock him out. I wanted to finish with strikes. That’s why I let it go. I stand up and finish with extra three piece and a soda.”

Chikadze stopped Barboza in the third round of their “Sin City” showdown, improving to 14-2 in the process. That’s now nine straight wins for the former kickboxer, who revealed a laundry list of injuries heading into his Sept. 4 headliner.

“I felt like The Matrix,” Chikadze continued. “I watched my fight a couple of times and the way I was moving, it was something different. People don’t know I had a lot of injuries in this fight. I had a biceps tear. I had meniscus and LCL tear. I had the three broken bones in one of the fists. That camp was very challenging as I mentioned.”

Chikadze blasted the UFC rankings panel after his highlight-reel victory and insists his Barboza performance was enough to warrant a spot in the Top 5. I guess the dopey panelists don’t understand that “Ninja” is the greatest fighter who ever lived.

Just ask him, he’ll tell you.

“I believe I’m the best striker inside the whole martial arts world right now,” Chikadze said. “What I’ve done in all different sports. I came from the karate background and became the multi-time national champion, European champion, world champion twice. I moved from this sport into kickboxing. I became a two-time world champion, two-time European champion and I’m talking about highest level of the sport. I was fighting in GLORY, I was beating people right there, everybody was running from me in the organization of GLORY kickboxing.”

For more results and fallout from UFC Vegas 35 click here.