Giga Chikadze has a ton of confidence entering his UFC Vegas 25 co-main event fight against Cub Swanson.
Chikadze had an incredible 2020 going 4-0 and improved to 5-0 in the UFC. He made a name for himself and began calling out ranked featherweights and gets his chance to face a well-known name in Swanson.
“I’m super excited, this is the biggest fight of my career, he’s a big name. I’m just really excited to fight. I was hoping to get someone in the top-15 and since I know Cub and have trained with him, I didn’t push for the fight, we also have a lot of mutual friends,” Chikadze said to BJPENN.com. “The UFC offered us the fight and he’s a well-known guy so I took the fight. I also can’t fight anyone anymore, I’m not fighting behind, I need to fight ahead and make my way up the ranks. I was offered a few people in the top-15 and they all declined.”
It is a big opportunity for Chikadze who believes Swanson is still a top featherweight, despite Swanson being 2-4 in his last six. He knows the perennial contender is dangerous everywhere and is eager for the chance to share the Octagon with him.
“In the fight, he lost, he is still competitive against the top featherweights,” Chikadze said. “Cub has looked good, he is a great fighter. I’m expecting him to be the best version of himself who is a great striker, good grappler.”
Entering the fight, Chikadze knows Swanson will try and wrestle him, however, he welcomes that. He says his grappling has gotten much better and is eager for the chance to prove that.
Chikadze also believes he will eventually catch Swanson shooting on a bad shot and will knock him out cold.
“Everybody has the same game plan when they fight me and that is to try and take me down,” Chikadze said. “He can try all he wants but he’s not going to take me down. I want to have a standup fight with him, but I don’t know if he will want to.
“I will knock Cub Swanson out cold, though, I see that happening. He will try and strike for a bit, go for a level change, I’ll stuff it and he’ll strike again,” Giga Chikadze continued. “Cub will then try for the takedown again and I’ll counter with something big and put him out. I’m a much different fighter now than I was years ago as I’ve been training my ground game with Beneil Dariush and several others.”
If Chikadze does KO Swanson, it would be a massive win for him. He knows it would propel him into the featherweight ranks and says it would allow him to call for top-10 opponents.
Chikadze also is planning for an active 2021 and says he will be the champion by the end of this year or early next.
“100 percent. The last time Cub lost he was top-10, he has two wins since then. A win puts him in a good spot to fight a top-10 opponent. I can start calling out big names when I knockout Cub, I can call people out and they will have to accept. I will be in the top five at least by the end of this year. If I stay active, I know I can be the champion by the end of this year or early next.”
Do you think Giga Chikadze will KO Cub Swanson on Saturday?