Giga Chikadze is a mixed martial artist who competes in the UFC featherweight division. His background in kyokoshin karate and kickboxing has made him one of the better strikers in the division.
Giga Chikadze: Um so yeah a great performance. Obviously, given all the circumstances you know supposed to fight someone else, Mike Davis pulls out, you get there’s a short notice. Opponent talk about all the emotions that went on it was. You were excited for a fight, obviously the pandemics going on. You get excited for a fight and he pulls out and you don’t even know if you can fight and then someone else steps in and then it’s just a lot of emotion in such a short period of time to talk about that yeah honestly. For me, it was that was not a surprise cause. He a guy, pulled out dollar, he twice and it already happened. It’S it’s helpful to me like a deja vu in her life was the first time the guy didn’t show up second time he pulled out for some reason and when they scheduled me with the third time third time was they scheduled me. I said to my manager that I didn’t wanted to fight this guy because I think he didn’t deserve, but at some point I really wanted to fight also because I was mad no twice he didn’t show up, he messed up my claim, then I I thought other Guys for one week no two spots of my fights, both of my other, you were surprised. So I mean I didn’t want it, but then I thought so. I was gon na punch him in the face and punish you because of old story, but so yeah. They scheduled me and he didn’t show up again and that totally was not surprised for me. You know I I was ready for it. I was talking to my team and we were making it jokes about it that he was not gon na come and he was not gon na fight. A lot of my teammates actually thought that he was. He wouldn’t be competing against me because story starts back in 2017. He came at Kings in the gym where I train and he trained with me like he stayed for one week or something like this and we spa and after that I think he just you know. Don’T want to find me, you know, and was everything happened, the third time and only thing I was hoping that maybe sounds they could find some someone to fight. We even offered my one of my team 85. I will he was down, he was there, he was there to fight, it was down to fight, but they found a new guy good guy he’s a dog fighter from bantamweight. You know, of course, that was a big advantage to me because he was bantamweight. I was be featherweight and them and the big respect to the guy he show up. He had nothing to lose, he just got in UFC and he showed so much heart and actually that was a big risk for me to take the fight all as well. You know like when you prepare for the one guy and suddenly they matches you up with another guy. Most of the fighters wouldn’t take the fight but um. I never said they know. I always take the fight short notice and especially when I’m prepared, I don’t care who I’m gon na fight I’ll feel like I’m already complete fighter. Maybe I don’t do takedowns, but if I need to, I can take the guy down and submit so did you uh? Did you have any time to watch tape or didn’t know tape, just yeah yeah yeah? We said the ax first, yes, and so like Holly calls me my manager and say that hey you want to fight this guy. We we got to replace me. I say like please remember the name first time which they said your winner Rivera. I googled it. I couldn’t find the I don’t know I googled something else. You know I googled, I checked the guy, but I there was not the right name. They told me first time, then, of course after I agreed to fight, they would never reject the fight check the guy and yeah. It was a good good matchup he’s he loves to brawl. He likes to come forward. The same time was a risk here, as I mentioned, because when the guy comes like that – and he just big underdog – and he has nothing to lose, especially he is he’s good he’s a. It was a multiple time type of Titan FC champion, which is a great show, especially the eastern eastern, US, a lot of fighters fight there and then from there they come in. You will see and yeah if he would. He was gon na catch me with any blind shot. That will be not a good good thing. For me. Yeah there is a with all pandemic and everything going on it was there ever any like did you always want a fighters are always I’d rather not. I want to make sure you get a good training camp in and want to make sure no, I always wanted yeah, I’m gon na. Tell you why right now Walt is told it feels like the clock is ticking for us. You know it’s go time. That is all and moving forward for for the athletes who’s still competing, and it feels like the all. The attention are on us, the fighters who are fighting right now and that’s a great opportunity, especially for the fighters cause. You know the fighting is still new. Sport is still growing, all the different sports are cancelled. Events and people don’t have nothing to do beside to watch it to fight. So I thought that it. That would be the great opportunity for me and I’ll become more recognizable and people gon na see more. My fight, so it’s a great chance for me and Hall actually for all the sport. If you, I don’t know, if you have seen my speech after the fight, I said the dynamite, many thanks and in the it was from the bottom of my heart cause like some of the people say that I liked kissing behind us. But yes, no, that was completely from bottom of my heart cause. I really really appreciated him. Cuz he’s been fighting so much to make this happen because California did not allow him Las Vegas didn’t allow and finally he made – and it was a great yeah. It’S it’s really amazing what he’s done and such a short period of time, he’s kind of ignoring what everyone’s telling him to do, and just going out there and putting fights together for for not just fighters but for people at home. To it’s! It’S really. It’S really moving and it’s a great thing that he’s doing. Let’S talk a little bit about your call-out afterwards. It wasn’t really really calm out, but someone brought it up at the press conference Edson Barboza. What is what is it about that fight that that excites? You yeah, may I have so much respect for this guy he’s such a great striker and he’s just fun to watch. You know he’s done so much in the company like Chinese, so ambassador of the company and big face, I would say, like maybe the taste striker in past ten years in you, you see all his highlights. It’S what about and just wan na know when I’m you know you get better when you have a good opponent and that’s that’s what that’s what I want to experience. You know I want to fight him in the cage, but after the fight we can go and drink a beer or whatever. I really want to have fight with him in the cage, because that would be the great show for the fans like when the first I heard about the fight island. It reminds me fight. Ireland reminds me like back in the days like when Mortal Kombat 2 came. First, you know like it’s like it’s like this, but in reality, and imagine that me that’s on fighting on the fact Highland. That would be super high light vitals, like with all the crazy spinning, gigs and stuff like that, that that will be like the liu kang versus the scorpion. Your you have a kickboxing background describe what it’s like: the transitions, MMA. Obviously there’s a lot more to you. Have to take in right, it’s wrestling. There’S Jiu Jitsu, what’s been the hardest part about transitioning into mixed martial arts. Actually, my background is karate to keep boxing, so it took some time and it was also the big experience and big. And after this I decided to come in us and start him in a solid first first five and I thought you know ma. I thought you didn’t really need it. Much of experience in wrestling and jiu-jitsu cause my background, the karate, the style where I trained before, and so I trained to to stop. You know one was kioku shin and you cannot really catch and you cannot do the takedown, but you know then I started to training go junior and I spent a lot of years there and there you can do some takedowns and even armbar. You can do and foot logs, but just for ten seconds, so I learned a little bit where in the childhood, some takedowns and I thought that would be just enough for my MMA career. But and then I caught a wrestler for my first MMA fight in world series of fighting and the guy took me down, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t defend the takedown. That was worse. The experience you know like I was just frustrated and pissed that I could not fight. I could not really perform, and that was not me. You know every time the fight started. I was talking well, but the guy was taking me down and giving me hug and squeezing me and nothing. He didn’t really do some damage on the ground, but he just had me, I think more than my wife hacks me often so after that I decided to stop and start training in jiu-jitsu. I put my gear back again white belt train with with other of my teammates, and that was a huge experience and now I’m training wrestling. I’M training jiu-jitsu, I’m blue belt, but I feel like I’m already level of purple and maybe even more okay. So I’m doing okay, I’m still getting better and better every day. What’S it like there at Kings, obviously you’re working with with guys like Peniel, dare use he’s very, very talented, very, very skilled. What’S it like, what’s that environment right there, I think my little boy wants to say hi yeah, my brother, I don’t have actual brother from my mom and dad, but he is really my brother. He actually matched my son’s Godfather and we became super close and he’s been helping since the day one I moved in us in in everything in my career in my life to fix it. You know you when you move in us and you don’t have no one, especially in California, you need someone to help you for with their everything. So he was a guy. He was an unofficial manager. I would say of me know from the beginning, and he helps me in jiu-jitsu. He rubs mean wrestling and besides him, I have a multiple teammates were my close, close people to me super close and it’s just a huge experience. Also. We have some big names like for PC, well zoom. In every time he gives you a tip like, let’s save a last couple of months, every time he is in the gym after we dan trainee. He he makes me stay after training and 3 like 30 to 45 minutes. Just a couple of drills like that, Hrothgar did have a couple of good things that he has in our life. That thing is, motivates you so much because you see like there is a language in the gym that talk. We talk by the moves you know like and by by the spirit that you have this language is something that only a couple of people understand and that’s what we have in the in the King’s MMA. It’S about a respect and experience a lot of different things. It’S about the martial arts and we are blessed to have such a great team with so many the huge and athletes and names you know yeah yeah. I can see that like little damage after the fight is there any injuries anything like that and if, if not, when do you want to get back in there now I want to get back soon, I’m the crazy one. You know I’ll bring in UFC since, like September end of September, it’s been like seven months. I’Ve already fought three times to fight, saw it in 2020. I don’t think many people have done with to win in 2020 so far, and I want to get back soon and fight again. I just might hope him and I love it. You know like let’s say that this week you is my the only week, I’m taking a break. I have my right leg bruised because I’ve been kicking past last fight a lot and a couple of times. When I kick my opponent in inside the leg, kick in then me: I knew he had a damage before so he lost one of his fights with inside low kick so I was doing the same, and since it’s got swollen and swollen, I still was keep kicking Right and also the Thai kicks couple of times and a couple of my buddies, he checked with elbow, so it’s really big damage, especially when I keep cause. I’M keiko got it and that’s only thing what I have it just swelling. Oh, are you going down beside these? I don’t have any injury, I’m just keeping myself I’m doing some apps at home. Already. I don’t wan na miss my cardio. Finally, my cardio was much better than my other fights and I want to keep myself in shape and, if happens by Thailand, and if heads on also will agree about the fight that will be the dream. Five. Oh my god, five. I like that, a lot both both have very, very good kicks. Do you have a date in mind? Is it like July August? No, no, I mean I’m ready whenever they ask me to fight again. Actually I mean I’m messaging them. Every day we talked with Sean yesterday with Alan daily, with I’m talking and globey. They know anything, but that’s how it is yeah, one fight soon again. What are you doing in your free time when you’re not doing like you said cardio and abs? Is there anything you’re doing any TV shows you’re watching anything like that uh yeah, so I was watching love with the last text from Michael Jordan he’s my one of my favorite athlete ever what shows up? We watch all day all the shows like last few months. It’S the core entire time, one of the zombie movies I was watching last night we’ve been watching this past fall month. I forgotten a tamil rakhi. I must something with Walking Dead. Oh yeah, everybody loves that show yeah. So there’s uh there’s one big title fight. Now. That’S the only one, that’s kind of been official, Amanda, Nunez and Felicia Spencer. Are you a fan of watching lights outside of outside of competing yeah? Sure I am. I am but yeah. What does I’m not a huge fan of that you’re? Not a huge fan of them? Yeah, you you, you have any predictions for that site. I think I’m on they’re gon na be yeah and what and what about in what about near division? What are your thoughts on on Alexander Volkov, ski and that’s all along when they fight? How do you? How do you have that one going how I had before the beginning when they put or future the future when they rematch, I think max, configure Alex out. You know I may be the first time it was he for him. It was something new. You know, like short guy who was well-rounded and he was coming. Oh, but if max figures throughout the distance, which is really good in that, especially with his boxing, he can win the fight all right man, Allah. Thank you for taking the time and and incredible performance and, like I hope you get the Edson Barboza fight. That would be crazy and hopefully it’s on fight island. Thank you. I appreciate your time and your interest and also a quick, I’m gon na mention my exporters, which I really want to thank them, a char, a bit retro cuz energy and bad-boy company. These people have been supporting me for a long time and without them that everything will be so hard to do it, especially for me, moving guy from Georgia and living in California. Also, a lot of shout out to my team, kinks MMA, the chase, your dream cardio program and my wrestling coach Mike Farris all right, perfect there. It is all right man. Thank you very much and thank you real. Thank you. Take care and please send me the link later yeah. I will for sure all right all the best. Thank you.