Giga Chikadze put up a vintage performance as he went toe to toe against a seasoned striker and UFC veteran in the form of Edson Barboza in the main event of UFC Fight Night. Chikadze emerged victorious with a stoppage win in the third round to further cement his position in the UFC’s featherweight division.
Following the win, Chikadze called for a title opportunity and expressed his interest in being the replacement fighter for Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega. However, he also showed interest in a fight with former featherweight champion Max Holloway.
“Somebody Hawaiian who is leading the division. He knows my name, I saw the interview. Somebody asked him and he said like this ‘Oh, yeah, I know this, I heard this Giga guy who kicks. I’m not just a Giga guy, I kick the sh*t out of people.” Giga said in the post-fight Octagon interview.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment. Max or reserve title fight. That’s why I’m here.”
Needless to say, this is an exciting match-up. Holloway vs Chikadze is as entertaining as it gets. Chikadze has been on a rise, and with back-to-back stoppage wins to his name, has definitely put his name in title contention. However, it’s safe to say that a title opportunity looks really far considering he is placed #10 in the UFC’s featherweight rankings.
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With a win over the #9 ranked Edson Barboza, the win helps him very little in terms of jumping the ranking ladder. Be that as it may, win over a name like Edson Barboza puts your right up there among the elites, and Giga Chikadze has time and again proved why he is one of the deadliest strikers in the featherweight division.
What’s next for Giga Chikadze following the stoppage win over Edson Barboza?
Max Holloway is likely to take on Yair Rodriguez next, and it’s safe to say that while a fight with Giga Chikadze is a possibility, Holloway might look to get his hands back on the belt with a win over Yair. Regardless, there are still a lot of great options for Giga Chikadze to find himself in the top-5.
Giga Chikadze could look to fight Calvin Kattar next. Kattar is coming off an incredible five rounds with Max Holloway. He is ranked #6 in the UFC’s featherweight rankings, a win over whom could possibly plummet Giga to the title picture. Additionally, it’s a stylistic match-up, one that is bound the get the attention of fight fans around the world.
A fight against Arnold Allen or a potential matchup with Chan Sung Jung are possible options as well. The featherweight division is stacked with exciting fighters. Chikadze is on a 9 fight win streak, with seven of those wins coming inside the UFC Octagon. While a title possibility seems far-fetched, he is one more big win away from title contention.