GLORY 37 took place this past Friday night from Los Angeles, California as the featherweight division soaked up some lime light. The main event of the GLORY Superfight Series saw the recently stripped featherweight king Robin van Roosmalen pick up a 4th round TKO victory over GLORY 33 tournament winner Matt Embree. To open up the Superfight Series card, the #5 ranked GLORY featherweight Giga Chikadze, of Rafael Cordeiro’s Kings MMA, annihilated Victor Pinto with a fight-ending kick to the body in the first round.
Following his third GLORY victory by way of body kick, or “Giga Kick,” Giga Chikadze sat down with Bloody Elbow to recap his GLORY 37 performance, talk about the surprise post-fight visit from teammates Fabricio Werdum and Wanderlei Silva, and he even called out the featherweight ‘king without crown’ Robin van Roosmalen.
Thoughts on your GLORY 37 opponent, Victor Pinto, who came in with a record of 72-26:
“My opponent was a really experienced guy, professional near 100 fights. He started at a young age. A lot of respect for him, but at the same time, my record doesn’t show that I also have big experience, times in karate and other martial arts, like kickboxing amateur fights. I have over 200 fights total, so 100 fights, for me, is okay.”
There was a moment when he tripped you up and you looked infuriated, as if you wanted to punch him while you were on the ground:
“It’s true. I’m an emotional guy. I’m an emotional person. Nobody can step over me, especially when I’m down on the ground and you don’t have any respect. Step on me? You’re lucky there’s a judge. He can say that hey, no punches haha.”
Was there a moment in the fight when you felt like you were going to get the finish?
“Yeah, I had the chance. I knew I was going to do it. As soon as the fight started, I felt like I was one lion in the ring. I knew I was going to do it. I didn’t know what it’s going to be. I was thinking high kick or axe kick. I even thought for a second for a wheel kick, but a ‘Giga kick’ looked good too.”
Having now won 3 GLORY bouts by way of “Giga Kick,” can you tell us what makes it so effective?
“I explained before that I’m kind of showing high kick first, a couple times, and when the guy thinks that the high kick is coming, then I switch to body kick, and that’s pretty much [it]. But It’s more about the feeling and timing, it’s not just body kick and just a couple of head kicks first. No, it’s more about feeling. You need the right timing for it. If you just do like a couple of high kicks and then body kicks, you guys see, he can just easy block. Yeah, it’s a little different.”
Watch Giga Chikadze finish off Victor Pinto with his patented “Giga Kick.”
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) January 21, 2017
Did you know that Fabricio Werdum and Wanderlei Silva were going to join you in the ring following your fight?
“I did not expect they were going to come. We were talking but Werdum, he flies today to Korea, so I thought his flight was yesterday. Even he thought his flight was yesterday. I didn’t know that Wanderlei was here; he goes back and forth out of town, traveling a lot. It was a pleasure seeing them in the ring. They are good friends of mine. They are teammates of mine. When you see those guys with you in the ring, I don’t know man, I just wanted to say loudly that, ‘Hey, my team vs. your team!’ We were there; me, Rafael, Benny, Wanderlei, Werdum. Who can beat us when we are all together?”
Robin Van Roosmalen was stripped of his GLORY featherweight title after failing to make weight for his first defense against Matt Embree at GLORY 37. You took to the mic after your fight and claimed to be the new GLORY featherweight champion:
“I think Roosmalen is a great fighter, amazing fighter. He as the lightweight champion. I think he made a mistake to come at featherweight. I don’t like that. I think it’s going to be a great fight. Roosmalen has very precious style of Dutch; clear, clean Dutch kickboxer who uses a lot of offenses. I’m a different style, more mixing with karate, my kickboxing… I’ve trained at the best gyms and right now I’m here in Huntington Beach at Kings MMA. So, [I’m] changing my style, gaining some other stuff, other things, other techniques from very experienced guys like Rafael Cordeiro. I think GLORY needs to make this fight, people’s champ against king without crown. Let’s do it. I’m in. Anywhere. Anyplace.”
Thoughts on Robin van Roosmalen’s performance against Matt Embree?
“Oh man, it was great. I loved it. I loved how smart he fought. Like I said, Matt Embree had the best day in his life already. It happened once, and it already happened. He is a good fighter, don’t take me wrong, but he’s not that level yet. He was a guy, right time, right place. You cannot make him, ohhh, and like shoot everyday videos and talk about how he was planning to knock me out. You saw what happened. Smart, powerful fighter. Simply, [the] doctor stopped the fight.”
Is your loss to Matt Embree one that you would like to get back?
“Yeah sure. Of course, man. Right now, I feel like I’m one of the best kickboxers in the world. I am the best kickboxer in the world and I’m looking for my title to get. After that, anyone, man. Anyone. Anywhere. Any kickboxer in my weight division. Even we can talk about other weight divisions after as well. I am one of the tallest guys in my weight division. Let’s get the title and then we talk about other things.”
To crown a GLORY featherweight king, will they hold another tournament or will they select someone to face Robin van Roosmalen?
“The second option is better, I feel. I don’t know, man. My fights have always good reviews. People love that. Roosmalen, as you know, is one of the well known fighter’s now. Let’s do it. Why make it more difficult, you know. Yeah tournaments, they do always tournaments. They have a contract. GLORY has a contract with I think ESPN or UFC Fight Pass that they need to do a tournament, but why to do right now, 4-man tournament? I already fought tournament; I beat former champion [Sirhiy Adamchuk]. If you give me a tough fight and then the other bracket will be, again, one good guy against easy guy, so I don’t want to do it, but we’ll see.”
Have you been working on your MMA career?
“December, I had my fight in MMA in Gladiator Challenge, a show in California. It was fun. It was a pretty fun first round knockout. It was a great experience. All of my team was there. Thank you for all of the support. It was an amazing day. It’s a different sport. A lot of kickboxers talk, ‘oh, MMA guys can’t fight. I’m going to beat MMA guys, everyone.’ But they just talk. They never show up in the cage. Like, most of the guys. I said I was going to kick some MMA guy and I did it.”
How is your ground game coming along?
“I do a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling right now with Beneil Dariush, Ricardo Testai… I have a lot of Jiu-Jitsu world champions on my team and they are helping me a lot. It’s getting better and better. I even did, last year, a tournament Jiu-Jitsu. I won my 2 fights in Jiu-Jitsu. It was a lot of fun, a lot of fun.”
Will you be doing more submission grappling tournaments?
“Yeah, more hopefully. We’ll see. I’d love to.”
Will GLORY hold another tournament to determine the new featherweight champion? Will GLORY select one fighter to face Roosmalen for the vacant belt? Will Giga Chikadze get his wish and be next in line? It is uncertain what the future will hold for GLORY’s featherweight championship, but it is safe to say that there is no shortage of excitement as the crown refuses to stay on the head of one king for very long. Just ask Robin van Roosmalen, Gabriel Varga, and Sirhiy Adamchuk.
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