DieHardMMA Previews: UFC Vegas 25: Chikadze vs Swanson Fight Preview

by Pub Sports Radio

DieHardMMA Previews: UFC Vegas 25: Chikadze vs. Swanson Fight Preview

By: Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

UFC Vegas 25 has a co-main event that features a changing-of-the-guard fight. Rising Georgian prospect Giga Chikadze is facing UFC veteran and legend Cub Swanson. This is a huge fight with big implications for where the careers of these men will go afterward. 

The Fighters:

Giga Chikadze (-150)

  • 32 years old

  • 12 – 2

  • 66% finish rate

  • 7 wins by KO/TKO

  • Height: 6’0

  • Reach 74.’

Giga Chikadze is a world-class striker who has transitioned into the world of MMA. After an early set back on Dana White’s contender series Giga has made his UFC presence known and is on a bit of a heater. Giga’s biggest issue is his grappling, but he is on a good run of opponents who have been willing to strike with him, which has served him well. Giga is getting close to where he can be considered a contender, and an old veteran is exactly what his resume needs to push him to that next level.

Cub Swanson (+130)

  • 37 years old

  • 27 – 11

  • 59% finish rate

  • 12 wins by KO/TKO

  • Height: 5’8

  • Reach 70.’

Cub Swanson has been around forever. From 2017 – 2019 Cub started to look like maybe his time had come. Dropping the dreaded 4 in a row, Cub was in a new position where he was fighting for his job when he faced Kron Gracie. Cub is an aggressive and talented striker who always puts on a show, but he can be overpowered, and we have seen him submitted by better grapplers. Kron found himself on the wrong side of a beating that night in a fight that looked like it was set up for him to win. The next time out, Cub was again set up where we all thought the UFC was looking to springboard a young fighter’s career of his name, but this time Cub laid the hammer down, KOing Daniel Pineda in the second. Cub is far from done, and he has earned his respect, but now he has to contend with a true prospect.

 

The Matchup:

This fight is pretty competitive on the feet, but you would think that Giga has a slight advantage. Cub and Giga have very different styles, and while Giga has a height and reach advantage, Cub has a speed advantage. As long as this fight plays out on the feet, Giga is very likely to work his way to a win either by knockout or decision. Cub is extremely difficult to put away and has been in the cage with the biggest names in the sport. The only man able to knock Cub out was a prime Jose Aldo in the WEC more than 10 years ago via flying knee. I do not expect Cub to fall via KO on Saturday, but I can see him getting outclassed on the feet.

The real path to victory for Cub is to mix in the grappling. If he gets in there like he usually does and looks to throw hands, then he is giving the advantage to his bigger, longer, younger opponent. If Cub makes this a mixed martial arts fight and changes levels and threatens that takedown, then Giga will have a harder time letting loose and will always have to keep the ground game in the back of his mind.

This fight is one I do not suggest betting on because it all comes down to the game plan, and we as bettors cannot know the plan of the fighter. If Cub were on record saying he was going to push Giga and force him to grapple, I would be more than willing to line up behind the veteran because he is a live dog. Unfortunately, Cub is not one you can count on to use his wrestling and may well try to prove that he is the better striker and can handle Giga and defeat him in his own world. IF that happens, then I would definitely expect Giga to work his way to a decision win. Watch the interviews this week, and if Cub wants to wrestle, then maybe he is worth a flier. If not, then I would go with Giga now that his line has come down.

The Pick: Giga Chikadze (-150)

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