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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:44 PM

UFC Vegas 35: Barboza vs. Chikadze Predictions

Aug 27, 2021
by Adam Lykkesteen
UFC Expert

UFC Vegas 35 Betting Preview & Predictions

The UFC returns to Vegas this weekend when Edson Barboza takes on Giga Chikadze in the five-round 145-pound main event of UFC Vegas 35.

Striking fans can look forward to the main event, as both fighters always fight standing up in the octagon.

UFC Vegas 35 will also serve as the TUF season 29 finale, and the contestants from the competition will battle it out on Saturday’s card.

UFC Vegas 35 Bouts & Odds

Main Card


  • 185 lbs: Alessio Di Chirico (-225) vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan (+180)
  • 185 lbs: Wellington Turman (-140) vs. Sam Alvey (+115)
  • 205 lbs: Dustin Jacoby (-200) vs. Darren Stewart (+160)
  • 125 lbs: J.J. Aldrich (-350) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (+270)
  • 145 lbs: Jamall Emmers (-150) vs. Pat Sabatini (+125)
  • 135 lbs: Mana Martinez (-275) vs. Guido Cannetti (+220)

Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze
Odds • Picks • Predictions

Striker versus striker.

Two guys with nine total takedowns landed in 31 bouts combined will compete. This fight will play out on the feet, and both guys are very well-versed in that area of fighting.

Edson Barboza, 35, is the veteran in this matchup. He has fought 25 times under the UFC mantle, and has picked up 16 wins in those outings.

Barboza spent the majority of his career at 155-pounds, but recently made the move down to Featherweight where he has won two and lost one, by a very close decision.

Chikadze initially flunked his big chance to score a UFC contract, when he competed and lost on Dana White’s Contender Series. However two first-round finishes would be enough for Giga to get the call from Dana White with a UFC contract offer.

Since then, Giga has competed six times in the UFC and has yet to taste defeat. Chikadze has won four by decision, and has picked up two first-round finishes which he won performance-of-the-night bonuses for.

UFC Vegas 35: Barboza vs. Chikadze Odds Movement

Odds: Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze (8/28/21)
Fighter Open 8/11 8/23 8/27
Edson Barboza +100 -105 -115 -115
Giga Chikadze -120 -115 -105 -105

Barboza vs. Chikadze: Pick’em betting line

Edson Barboza odds: -115
Implied win probability: 53%

Giga Chikadze odds: -105 Implied win probability: 51%

UFC Vegas 35: Barboza vs. Chikadze tale of the tape

Tale of the tape: Barboza vs. Chikadze (8/28/21)
Fighter Edson Barboza Giga Chikadze
Record 22-9-0 13-2
Average Fight Time 11:27 11:18
Height 5' 11'' 6' 0''
Weight (lbs) 145 145
Reach (in) 75 74
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Age 35 32
Strikes Landed per Min. 4.16 3.55
Striking Accuracy 44% 44%
Strikes Absorbed per Min. 4.15 2.67
Striking Defense 59% 60%
Striking Differential 0.01 0.88

UFC Vegas 35: Barboza vs. Chikadze Pick

The fight will play out on the feet, so who is the better striker?

Well, Barboza does get hit significantly more often than Chikadze, but also lands more. Chikadze does have a wider strike differential though, meaning that he gets hit less than he hits his opponent.

Edson has far more experience, and has faced tougher competition in the octagon - but I don’t think we should attribute too much to experience, as Chikadze has a lengthy kickboxing career behind him.

Barboza hasn’t exactly been consistent lately either, as he has picked up five wins in his last ten bouts. In three of those losses he was favoured to win at an average of -120.

Chikadze moves well, and more importantly, he doesn’t get caught often. Barboza has been knocked out twice in the last three years, and he becomes a bit sluggish in the later rounds.

I expect Giga to showcase his striking defense and technical capabilities against the more brawling Edson Barboza.

The Pick: Giga Chikadze -105

Kevin Lee vs. Daniel Rodriguez
Odds • Picks • Predictions

Another great bout taking place on the UFC Vegas 35 card is Kevin Lee versus Daniel Rodriguez.

Kevin Lee is a gifted grappler with good striking and Daniel Rodriguez is a bulldozing brawler with a granite chin and heavy hands. What an intruguing matchup.

A win for either fighter would be incredibly big. Kevin Lee is the one with the most to lose however, as the 28-year old has dropped four of his last six bouts. Rodriguez could easily take a loss to Kevin Lee on the chin, and continue his journey.

Rodriguez, 34, has been killing it against UFC competition. He made his debut last year, and has already fought six times with a 5-1 record.

Daniel Rodriguez, or D-Rod, is a potent finisher and can finish a fight anywhere. He has a black belt in jiu-jitsu.

Kevin Lee, 28, is the veteran in this matchup despite being six years younger than his opponent.

Lee has had 17 outings under the UFC mantle and has gotten his hand raised in 11 of them. Like his opponent, Lee has submissions skills as well as knockout power.

UFC Vegas 35: Lee vs. Rodriguez Odds Movement

Odds: Kevin Lee vs. Daniel Rodriguez (8/28/21)
Fighter Open 8/19 8/27
Kevin Lee -135 -150 -150
Daniel Rodriguez +115 +125 +125

UFC Vegas 35: Lee vs. Rodriguez tale of the tape

Tale of the tape: Lee vs. Rodriguez (8/28/21)
Fighter Kevin Lee Daniel Rodriguez
Record 18-6-0 15-2
Average Fight Time 11:50 10:41
Height 5' 9'' 6' 1''
Weight 170 lbs. 170 lbs.
Reach 77'' 74''
Stance Orthodox Southpaw
Age 28 32
Strikes Landed per Min. 3.90 8.07
Striking Accuracy 42% 48%
Strikes Absorbed per Min. 3.23 5.71
Striking Defense 51% 56%
Striking Differential 0.67 2.36
Takedowns Average/15 min. 3.21 1
Takedown Accuracy 43% 55%
Takedown Defense 75% 83%
Submissions Average/15 min. 0.8 0.2

UFC Vegas 35: Lee vs. Rodriguez Pick

Wrestler versus striker.

Kevin Lee has the better wrestling game and will most likely be looking to take down Daniel Rodriguez to nullify his striking.

Based on Rodriguez' track record, his wrestling defense is questionable. Mike Perry, a striker, was able to take him down on more than one occasion and control him for almost three minutes.

Kevin Lee is no slouch on the feet either, and has produced highlight-reel knockouts over the likes of Gregor Gillespie before.

We often see the wrestler have success on the feet against the striker, because the latter is anticipating the takedown.

Rodriguez is no stranger to getting hit in pure striking bouts as the absorbs almost six punches every minute on average. Sure, he produces a great deal of output himself, but once he's on his back that's not going to matter.

Rodriguez should look to get taken down as much as possible to tire out Lee, and then put it on him in the final round, if he wants to win. I just don't think Daniel has the fighting IQ to pull of the classic rope-a-dope.

The Pick: Kevin Lee -150

UFC Vegas 35
Picks Round Up

Odds: UFC Vegas 35: Vegasinsider Picks (8/28/21)
Bout Pick Market Odds
Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze Giga Chikadze Moneyline -105
Kevin Lee vs. Daniel Rodriguez Kevin Lee Moneyline -150

Odds & Bouts Subject to Change - per BetMGM

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