Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s UFC Main Event (August 28)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Edson Barboza of Brazil.
- Top-10 lightweights Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze face off in the main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night event.
- Barboza is seeking his first three-fight win streak since 2017, while Chikadze hopes to get his seventh win in a row.
- Sean Zerillo details how to bet the two headliners below.
Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze Odds
Rising No. 10 Featherweight contender Giga Chikadze faces his stiffest test to date on Saturday against UFC legend and No. 9 ranked Edson Barboza in what figures to be an exciting striking battle.
Barboza will make his 26th walk to the octagon and fourth appearance at Featherweight after moving down from Lightweight last year. He has double the MMA experience (31 fights vs. 15 for Chikadze) as his opponent.
Giga will be making his seventh trip to the Octagon (or eight if you count his Contender Series loss) on the heels of his first two UFC finishes – over Jamey Simmons and Cub Swanson.
Below I preview the matchup and odds for Saturday’s fight. You can check out our staff favorite bets for my projections and more analysis on the rest of the card.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||11:27||11:18|
|Weight (pounds)||145 lbs.||145 lbs.|
|Date of birth||1/21/86||8/25/88|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.16||3.55|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.15||2.67|
|Take Down Avg||0.42||0.38|
Barboza has looked tremendous since moving down to the featherweight division. In fact, I’m starting to think that 145-pound Barboza is the most effective version that we have ever seen.
Barboza has long been known for his brilliant muay Thai and kickboxing techniques, but his boxing has looked extremely crisp in his recent fights, and his power seems to land a bit heavier to the lower weight class. Barboza has scored four knockdowns in his three featherweight bouts against some durable fighters in Dan Ige, Makwan Amirkhani, and Shane Burgos.
Both Barboza and Giga are brilliant technical kickboxers, but Barboza is the far better boxer, which should be a big advantage in the striking exchanges.
He’ll also put in the type of attritional work that Giga’s other UFC opponents haven’t really attempted with copious body shots and leg kicks.
Barboza is one of the few UFC fighters with a knockout at all three levels, and he keeps opponents guessing as to where he will attack next:
Giga has struggled with his cardio in three-round fights – even without grappling – so I expect Barboza to keep a higher pace in general while accumulating damage in areas that should serve to slow Giga down late.
The Georgian can struggle to keep up with opponents in terms of output. Even while fighting lesser competition, Giga failed to pull away from opponents. For example, he lost the striking battle 57-40 (54-38 on significant strikes) against Jamaal Emmers last March – and also permitted two takedowns – but still pulled out a split decision.
Even going back to his kickboxing career, Giga fought to several split decisions. Low output is a potential problem, and it will catch up with him in the cage at some point.
A five-round battle should play to Barboza’s side, as he may own a rare cardio advantage in this spot. He likely also has an edge in the grappling/wrestling realm here, but Edson rarely shoots for takedowns (0.42 landed per 15 minutes) because it empties his own gas tank.
Edson can also wilt under extreme pressure – but Giga will look to stay to the outside, so the stylistic matchup plays to Edson’s favor.
I largely expect to see a kickboxing match between these two elite strikers, and I think Barboza’s boxing and attritional damage is what ends up swinging this matchup,
The Brazilian has the much sharper and more powerful hands of the pair and has also faced a significantly higher level of competition.
Giga’s regional competition was meager, he’s mostly been gifted ideal matchups at the UFC level, and he’s failed to pull away from the lesser competition.
Barboza has been fighting the best in the world at 155 and now 145 for over a decade, and I don’t see where he’s at a disadvantage in any aspect of this fight.
Unless Giga finds an early knockout, Barboza should start to win most minutes in this contest. And I think he has a strong likelihood of securing a late finish too.
Barboza vs. Chikadze Pick
I projected Edson Barboza as a 60% favorite in this fight (-152 implied), and I would bet his moneyline up to -140.
I also show slight value on Barboza to win by decision (projected +269, listed +300) but will avoid that bet since I think a late finish is well within the range of outcomes.
I don’t see any value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected 57% or -132, with No listed -175 and Yes listed +130), total, or any other props for this matchup.
Going into this process blind, and before looking at the odds, I would have expected to see Barboza lined right around -150 — so I was happy to see my independent process align with that assumption.
I give Barboza the technical advantages almost everywhere in this fight — including cardio, grappling, output, power, wrestling – in addition to some stylistic advantages.
My only hesitancy with regards to this bet? Seemingly, the entire public-facing MMA community is backing Barboza. I try to tune things out until I make my selections, but I have noticed an overwhelming amount of support for Edson this week.
Still, the line has largely been sitting around a pick’em (Barboza opened -150) and is only just now starting to move more towards the Brazilian’s side.
Perhaps there’s some sharp money coming in on Giga — but it’s hard for me to justify that type of bet; failing to demolish lesser competition is a bad sign before taking a class hike in the UFC.
The Pick: Edson Barboza (-125, 1.5 units)