Chikadze scores eighth straight win by ending Swanson’s night early with a liver kick

Mar 7, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Giga Chikadze (red gloves) before the match against Jamall Emmers (blue gloves) during UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC on ESPN 23, Giga Chikadze entered the Octagon looking to win a seventh straight fight in the fabled mixed martial arts cage. Opponent Cub Swanson was booked–in classic UFC fashion–to be the established and gritty vet there to be a fighting litmus testing for a fast-rising talent. The Georgian aced his ranked featherweight test.

To open the round Swanson came after his younger opponent aggressively looking to get him off balance. However, Chikadze handled it well and landed shots to earn “Killer’s” respect and make him back-off from the attack. A few minutes later, the former Glory Kickboxing champion landed a nasty kick to the liver or a “Giga kick”, that got an immediate reaction from the 37-year-old. It wasn’t long before the pain forced Swanson to double over. The follow-up strikes landed were just to force the referee to officially bring the fight to an end.

It’s Chikadze’s eighth straight win overall, and second straight first-round finish in the Octagon via kicks. The fourteenth-ranked “Ninja” is deserving of another ranked test next, maybe now in the top-10. For Swanson, the defeat ends his two-fight win streak and could put him in danger of losing his spot in the top-15. He is now 3-5 since 2017.

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