Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Chikadze


We march forward with another UFC fight slate from the APEX in Las Vegas. This LV35 production features a main event clash of top featherweight contenders. The co-main event as well as the main event of the prelims are final bouts for the organization’s TUF series. I’ll have no opinion on those athletes until after they’ve competed Saturday.

In last week’s fight card Jared Cannonier executed close to a perfect plan against Kelvin Gastelum, whom few middleweights would have beaten that night. Cannonier’s focus, footwork and dedication to maintaining distance all synced up perfectly to earn a dominant decision win. Cannonier opened -200 for this fight and a tsunami of steam pressed Cannonier’s price down to -130 at close.

As Warren Buffett famously said: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Mark O. Madsen also won his fight via decision, though the way he won surprised as he battled Clay Guida on the feet for the duration. Madsen is a decorated Olympian, but he’s a fade moving forward. Lastly, my big bomb underdog Fabio Cherant did just that … he got destroyed racing to engage a vicious power striker in William Knight, so we split releases with Cannonier waiting to be utilized.

Insight the Octagon 2021: 20-15 + 7.68 units (Cannonier -160 leg 1 parlay remains open)


Featherweight (145 pounds) Main Event

Chikadze, the 10th-ranked featherweight, enters off a devastating finish of former top 10-ranked Cub Swanson. Before that victory, Chikadze had beaten rank-and-file featherweight talent in impressive fashion. The Georgian arrives at this opportunity on a 6-0 UFC run, so he’s rife with momentum and confidence.

Chikadze, a third-degree black belt in Goja-Ryu Karate, employs a wide stance presenting opponents with unorthodox, lethal hand-foot striking quickness that’s launched from all angles. He is best at distance and wants to measure opponents on their way in so he may apply his effective counter striking.

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