If Giga Chikadze was successful, he would fight Yair Rodriguez in the main event of the upcoming UFC Fight Night card on July 17th.
Although he was offered and accepted the opportunity following an injury to former featherweight champion Max Holloway, it appears Rodriguez was not interested after a new headliner was selected for this card with Islam Makhachev now set to face Thiago Moises in a five-round bout. tonight.
Chikadze was obviously hoping for the chance to face Rodriguez to build on his 6-0 streak in the UFC.
“They called me to replace Max, and I was happy to step in,” Chikadze told MMA Fighting. “I don’t know how this guy is going to stay ranked No.3 if he doesn’t agree on the fight because he hasn’t fought for a long time and look at me. I had like five, six fights at the same time. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“It’s not surprising of him, because he does this not only for me but for other fighters. With Zabit [Magomedsharipov], he refused it four times and after the violation of USADA and the UFC cut his contract, cut him from the UFC. I am really upset about one thing. This guy is unranked # 3 [in the UFC rankings], that’s the only thing. I feel like my name should be higher.
While it looks like Chikadze won’t be able to take Rodriguez’s ranking away from him in the cage, he is hopeful that a ranked featherweight will eventually serve as his next opponent.
Part of the frustration Chikadze feels comes from the argument that he can’t claim the title without facing more fierce competition, and yet he can’t seem to convince higher-ranking fighters to accept his challenge. .
“Everyone is talking about my opponents, how I beat unranked opponents,” said Chikadze. “This and that and Cub Swanson was older and all, but how am I going to prove these guys wrong if no one beats me in the top 10?” Who do I have to fight?
“I called pretty much everyone. Arnold Allen, Edson Barboza, Calvin Kattar, Max, Yair, those who don’t fight, [The Korean Zombie] now it would be great fights. But no one really accepted. Now the champion [Alexander Volkanovski] has a fight with Brian Ortega and whoever is available, not everyone picks up the phone.
According to Chikadze, he recently spoke to his manager about the issues he’s having with top-ranked fighters who don’t respond to him, and it’s an eerily similar issue that a current UFC champion and legend of the Retired UFC have also dealt in their respective games. careers.
“It’s funny, me and [Kamaru] Usman has the same manager, and the other day I was talking to Ali [Abdelaziz] like what’s going on with those 10 featherweight p * ssies? I was like what’s up with that? Why don’t they fight me? He mentioned the name of Usman and Khabib [Nurmagomedov], these guys had the same problem a few years ago.
“I don’t have an answer on how these guys are top fighters today. Back in the days when a fighter was a real fighter and was on the leaderboard, he was going to fight anyone. you would like [fight] everyone, quality guys and I’m a quality guy. I’m in the top 10. I was the busiest guy last year and I’ve already proven it to everyone. I want my fight for the main event.
After a blistering 63 second end in his last fight, Chikadze would like to stay as busy as possible. For now, it seems the Rodriguez fight is irrelevant, and he’s just waiting for the UFC to find someone else for him.
“The good thing is that I always accept fights,” Chikadze said. “I know something is going to happen. I am still training. Usually, I don’t announce my injuries. Let’s say in the last fight when I fought Cub I had a hamstring tear, a broken rib and a big problem with my lower back but nobody knew it. This is what I go through every time I fight and I’m not complaining about any of it. I never complain about any of that stuff.
“These guys have little injuries or mental issues. I remember when I got into the UFC, the first three fights I had scheduled with the same guy and this guy pulled out three times, all three times. We never fought. Mike Davis, I don’t know if you remember this guy but three times he took it out. He had mental problems. I do not understand this kind of fighters. I am of a different race.
Chikadze said he had nothing personal against anyone in the featherweight division. But he also wants the opportunity to rise through the ranks, and that’s not possible if these fighters don’t care about him as an opponent.
Perhaps the hardest part to come to terms with is that Chikadze pretty much knows that every potential clash between him and another Top 10-ranked featherweight is going to produce fireworks.
“Starting with ‘Zombie’ to whoever makes it into the top 10, I take anyone,” he said. “How can you not program me with Yair or Kattar or Edson Barboza or ‘Zombie’ or Arnold Allen?” All of these fighters in my division are incredible fighters. They have very unique styles, very entertaining styles.
“Now, if you play ‘Mortal Kombat’, you play Sub-Zero against Liu Kang, Sub-Zero against Scorpion, it will definitely be every time I step in with them, it will be a fun fight.”