Europe

Tbilisi, Georgia’s Giga Chikadze earns 3rd UFC win, decisions Irwin Rivera in Jacksonville, Florida

Giga Chikadze, Irwin Rivera (©UFC)

Giga Chikadze, Irwin Rivera (©UFC)

Giga Chikadze, 31, of Tbilisi, Georgia was one of the winners at “UFC on ESPN 8,” also known as “UFC Fight Night 172.” It was the Georgian mixed martial artist’s third victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Featuring 11 MMA matches, “UFC on ESPN 8” took place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, USA on May 16, 2020. In the fourth bout of the evening, Chikadze fought Irwin “The Beast” Rivera, 31, of Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico in the featherweight division.

Keith Peterson served as the referee. After three five-minute rounds, the featherweight contest was left in the hands of the judges.

Two judges scored it 30-27 in favor of the fighter in the red corner. The third judge saw it 30-26 in favor of the same fighter.

In the end, Peterson raised the hand of Chikadze. The Georgian fighter was declared the winner via unanimous decision.

 

The UFC held “UFC on ESPN 8” amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while almost all major sports events were either cancelled or postponed. In the main event of the evening, Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem, 39, of Amsterdam, Netherlands knocked out Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris, 36, of Homewood, Alabama, USA in the heavyweight division.

Cortney “Cast Iron” Casey, 33, of Glendale, Arizona, USA and Miguel “Caramel Thunder” Baeza, 27, of Davie, Florida won the Performance of the Night bonuses, which were presented by HSS. Presented by Toyo Tires, the Fight of the Night was the featherweight bout between “The Terminator” Song Yadong (宋亚东), 22, of Harbin, Heilongjiang, China and Marlon “Chito” Vera, 27, of Chone, Manabi, Ecuador.

Winning at “UFC on ESPN 8” improved the professional MMA record of Chikadze to 10 wins and 2 losses. He is now riding a five-bout winning streak.

On the other hand, Rivera now has 9 wins and 2 losses. Making his UFC debut at “UFC on ESPN 8,” the Mexican fighter replaced Mike “Beast Boy” Davis, 27, of Cairo, New York, USA as Chikadze’s opponent on short notice.

Nine countries were represented at “UFC on ESPN 8” namely Brazil, China, Ecuador, Georgia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.S. Chikadze solely represented Georgia while Rivera was the only representative of Mexico.

Born in Tbilisi on August 25, 1988, Chikadze made his professional MMA debut in 2015 and his UFC debut in 2019. The first two opponents he defeated in the promotion were Brandon Davis and Jamall Emmers.

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