Muay Thay specialist Edson Barboza expects his next fight to be an exciting one. Paired up against a fellow technical kickboxer in Giga Chikadze for a five-round main event next Saturday, the Brazilian believes he can put a stop to his opponent’s impressive UFC run so far.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Barboza praised Chikadze’s talent, but thinks ‘Ninja’ has not yet faced top-level competition, unlike Edson himself. Although the Brazilian plans to take advantage of flaws he sees in Giga’s game, he expects the fight to be an all-out striking battle.
“It’s a fight between two excellent strikers,” Chikadze said. “He’s excellent and I’ve proven that I’m one of the best in the division and in the UFC. It’s a perfect matchup. We are two brawlers and it’s going to be really cool. He’s undefeated, but he hasn’t faced the top guys in the division yet. He hasn’t been really tested yet. On the other hand, I have been tested against everyone in the division above. I’ve studied him with my coaches and he has many gaps in his game. I’ll try to exploit his flaws. It’s going to be a war.”
Now three fights into his featherweight stint, Barboza feels more comfortable than ever in his new home. After a frustrating beginning, where he dropped a split decision to Ige, Edson is happy to notice his own evolution in the next outings. However. the Brazilian feels like there still is room to become even better.
“The most important thing is that I’ve been performing better,” Barboza said.”If you watch that fight (against Ige) and then the one against Amirkhani and then last my one, you’ll see how I’ve been improving. I’ve been getting more comfortable in the division, more aware of my body. I was still a bit afraid of cutting that much weight. I’ll be even better, physically, for this fight, so I’ll perform better. I’m in my best shape and my mind is stronger than ever. There’s no doubt it’s going to be the best Edson Barboza to ever step into the Octagon.”
In his last outing, Barboza (22-9) scored a knockout win over Shane Burgos, back in May. The win came after a unanimous decision victory against Makwan Amirkhani and the aforementioned split decision defeat to Ige back in May 2020.
Now, Edson is expected to take on Chikadze at UFC Vegas 35’s main event, on August 28. The card is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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