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The “Giga Kick” delivered in a big way on Saturday night.

Giga
Chikadze
earned his sixth consecutive Octagon triumph at

UFC on ESPN 23
, as he dispatched veteran featherweight Cub Swanson
with a liver kick and follow-up punches 63 seconds into the opening
round of their co-main event encounter at the UFC Apex in Las
Vegas. Once Chikadze delivered his patented maneuver, Swanson
doubled over in agony, and it was academic from there.

“I’m happy to get a beautiful win and a beautiful KO, but I like
this guy a lot. I don’t think it was necessary for me to have to
deliver the last few punches,” Chikadze said. “If they would have
stopped it just after the kick, I would be happier. But I had to do
it because the referee didn’t stop it. He’s [Swanson] a legend. It
feels great to beat a legend.”

Chikadze didn’t get much time to test himself against Swanson. The
Palm Springs, Calif., native attempted to close the distance right
away, but Chikadze created an avenue for the fight-ending blow by
throwing a high kick moments earlier.

“I thought we would have more exchanges. Once I had my chance, I
went for it,” Chikadze said. “t’s a special kick. Other fighters
are going to watch it more.”

Swanson is the biggest name on Chikadze’s resume thus far, and
after going the distance in his first four promotional outings, the
kickboxer has scored back-to-back KOs in his last two
appearances.

  “It feels great. Finally I’m satisfied with things happening
in my life,” Chikadze said. “I’ve been digging at this for a long
time. I know I’m one step closer to where I want to get to. I’m
going slowly. I’m very happy with that.”

At Saturday’s post-fight press conference, Chikadze targeted the
likes of Max
Holloway
, Calvin
Kattar
or Yair
Rodriguez
as his next potential opponent. Whether the Georgian
fighter has built up enough of a reputation to receive any of those
matchups remains to be seen, but he is confident tha he deserves a
high-profile bout next.

“When you beat someone like this in a minute, the next opponent
should be big,” Chikadze said. “I’ll get more fans from this and
then get what I deserve. I’ve worked hard for it. I believe in my
hard work.

  “After this fight with Cub, I deserve someone in the top
10.”


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