Giga Chikadze made the most of his co-main event slot at UFC Vegas 25 on Saturday night.
To win his eighth fight in a row, the former kickboxer turned mixed martial artist used his signature strike nicknamed the “Giga kick” — an absolutely brutal body shot — that dropped Cub Swanson early in the first round. The grimace on Swanson’s face was undeniable and it only took a few more punches for referee Jason Herzog to stop the fight.
The official end time came at just 1:03 into the opening round.
“I’m so happy,” Chikadze said after the win. “I have a ton of respect for Cub but it is what it is. I had to do it. I had to tell all the top 15 guys that I’m here. If you didn’t know my name, now you know.”
Chikadze was setting up his finishing shot as soon as the fight began as he kept Swanson on the end of his punches and kicks while circling away to maintain his distance.
After tossing out a head kick, Chikadze then waited for the perfect opening where he unleashed the body kick that blasted Swanson just below his ribs and he immediately crumbled to the ground.
Chikadze celebrated the win after asking the UFC to give him a ranked opponent and opportunity to shine under a spotlight just like this one. Now with eight wins in a row including a perfect 6-0 resume in the UFC, Chikadze is looking for an even bigger step up in competition for his next fight.
“There is a guy who had one of the best performance in the featherweight division. Max Holloway, it would be an honor to fight you because you are one of the best,” Chikadze said when addressing the former featherweight champion. “I really want to fight you.
“If not this fight would not happen, maybe your former opponent Calvin Kattar. You’re waiting for exciting fights, I’m here.”
It’s impossible to know if he’ll get the chance to face Holloway or Kattar next but Chikadze has certainly earned an opportunity to face a higher ranked opponent, especially after the performance he had at UFC Vegas 25.