Giga Chikadze is rising in a hurry in the UFC’s featherweight division after his TKO win via liver kick over Cub Swanson at UFC Vegas 25.
After calling out Max Holloway during his post-fight interview, Chikadze now says he’s open to a fight with Yair Rodriguez if his initial wishes don’t materialize.
“I think that will be a real ninja fight,” Chikadze said during his post-fight presser when asked about Rodriguez as a potential opponent. “I would love this fight, and plus, he’s been pulling out of fights for the last few times, and I’m not that dangerous.”
After an impressive win over Swanson this past Saturday, it’s no surprise that the talented Georgian wants a bigger challenge right away if he wants to eventually compete for the featherweight belt. Rodriguez is currently not scheduled to fight in the UFC’s upcoming events, but that could change after Chikadze’s mentioning of him. Rodriguez is currently serving a six-month USADA suspension due to a whereabouts violation.
Chikadze and Rodriguez also share a lot of similarities from a style perspective. Both featherweights are heavily combative on the feet, particularly with body kicks and low kicks. There’s no question that this would be a fan-friendly bout to watch; whether it’s on a UFC Fight Night card or on an upcoming pay-per-view.
Rodriguez hasn’t competed since his unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston. He was rumored on multiple occasions to compete against Zabit Magomedsharipov for his next fight, but the scheduled bout was cancelled on multiple occasions in 2020.
Chikadze has also entertained future bouts with Calvin Kattar and Alexander Volkanovski, to name a few. First, he’ll need at least another win over a top contender like Rodriguez to emerge in the featherweight title picture.
Chikadze has won six straight to begin his UFC career after first emerging from Dana White‘s Contender Series in 2018. Regardless of who Chikadze’s next opponent will be, it’s sure to be another barn burner for fans to be excited about.
What are your thoughts on Giga Chikadze’s recent win over Cub Swanson and a potential matchup with Yair Rodriguez?