Streaking promotional-perfect featherweight contender, Giga ‘Ninja’ Chikadze has claimed that he knows the weakness of former undisputed UFC featherweight champion, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway, and believes a potential showdown is a favorable matchup for him.
Chikadze, who headlined UFC Vegas 35 at the end of last month, stretched his promotional-perfect run to seven consecutive victories — besting Muay Thai striker, Edson Barboza with a dominant third round knockout in an impressive stoppage win. The triumph earned Chikadze his third consecutive Performance of the Night bonus.
Sitting as the #8 ranked contender at featherweight off the back of the victory, Chikadze has continuously campaigned for a showdown against former division kingpin, Holloway in a potential title-eliminator, however, the Hawaii favorite is still expected to tackle Chihuahua striker, Yair Rodriguez in a rescheduled pairing on November 13. — however, the pairing has yet to be finalized at the time of publication.
Commenting on a potential showdown with Holloway in the future, Chikadze believes Holloway should be the undisputed featherweight titleholder following his close title challenge defeat to current gold holder, Alexander Volkanovski in July of last year, but believes he would face an easier opponent in Holloway than Volkanovski.
“I think he (Alexander Volkanovski) lost the last fight,” Giga Chikadze said during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “I think he lost with Max (Holloway) his last fight. But yeah, he’s a good fighter. He’s a very, very strong fighter. But for me, the champion today is Max. That’s all I can say about it.“
“I think Max would be an even easier fight for me,” Chikadze explained. “I know the weakness of Max more. I didn’t really study much (of) Alex. I mean, he’s such a short fighter, I know a lot of people are gonna say this and that, but I think that’s a great matchup for me.“
If Holloway overcomes the aforenoted, Rodriguez in their targeted November showcase, he’ll likely either challenge Volkanovski in a third matchup, or if Brian Ortega overcomes the City Kickboxing trainee this weekend at UFC 266 — that would set up a re-run with Holloway.
However, Chikadze believes nobody wants to see a third pairing between Volkanovski and Holloway, claiming he is the new blood at 145lbs.
“I believe Max needs to fight me to go to the title shot next time,” Giga Chikadze said. “No one really wants to see Max and Alex fight again and again and again. I’m the new dog in the division, and I’ll be proving with my kicks and punches that I’m the real deal. I don’t talk without no reason. I’m not a dreamer.“
“When I say I’m gonna knock people out, I knock people out,” Chikadze continued. “So, I believe I deserve this fight since Max was already scheduled (to fight Yair Rodriguez in July) before this fight. Now it’s time for me to get a big fight like Max. I’m ready to do it.“