Giga Chikadze sent a message to the featherweight division with a technical knockout victory over Edson Barboza in the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
The win extended his current streak to nine in a row as he picked up his third consecutive Performance of the Night bonus.
Chikadze landed more volume and at a higher connection rate than Barboza and he put his opponent away with a barrage of strikes less than two minutes into the third round. Chikadze landed 31 of 38 attempted strikes in the round alone and the bout was stopped after a second knockdown.
Chikadze, a former Glory kickboxing standout, is now 14-2 in MMA and 7-0 under the UFC banner.
The 33-year-old Georgian declared himself the best striker in the sport after beating Barboza and said he either wants to be next in line to fight for the featherweight title or face former champion Max Holloway, who had previously dubbed himself “the best boxer in the UFC.”
Chikadze was ranked as the No. 10 contender in the division prior to the bout, while Barboza was in the No. 9 spot.
Reigning 145-pound champion Alexander Volkanovski is scheduled to defend his title against Brian Ortega on Sept. 25 at UFC 266.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) August 29, 2021
In other action, Bryan Battle submitted Gilbert Urbina with a rear-naked choke and Ricky Turcios won an action-packed split decision over Brady Hiestand to win the middleweight and bantamweight tournaments, respectively, for the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. Veteran fighters Gerald Meerschaert, Abdul Razak Alhassan and Dustin Jacoby all picked up notable stoppage victories.
Below are the complete results from the event.
-- Giga Chikadze def. Edson Barboza by TKO
-- Bryan Battle def. Gilbert Urbina by submission (rear-naked choke)
-- Ricky Turcios def. Brady Hiestand by split decision
-- Daniel Rodriguez def. Kevin Lee by unanimous decision
-- Andre Petroski def. Micheal Gillmore by TKO
-- Gerald Meerschaert def. Makhmud Muradov by submission (rear-naked choke)
-- Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Alessio Di Chirico by knockout
-- Wellington Turman def. Sam Alvey by split decision
-- Dustin Jacoby def. Darren Stewart by TKO
-- JJ Aldrich def. Vanessa Demopoulos by unanimous decision
-- Pat Sabatini def. Jamall Emmers by submission (heel hook)
-- Mana Martinez def. Guido Cannetti by split decision