Giga-claim: Chikadze says he’s a better boxer than Max Holloway
After a solid but unremarkable start in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which saw him win his first four fights via decisions (two of which split), Giga Chikadze seems to have really found his rhythm. His last two fights have been impressive stopping wins, one with a massive header against Jamey Simmons and the other a quick one-minute kick against Cub Swanson.
After beating Swanson, Chikadze went big in calling Max Holloway … not exactly someone the rest of the featherweight division lined up to fight after what he did to Calvin Kattar. But it was actually Kattar’s fight that motivated Giga to potentially face the former 145-pound champion.
“Every time he did a crazy boxing combo, I was like ‘Man, I really wanna fight him,’ Chikadze told TMZ Sport. “I got so many messages like ‘Hey if you ever fight him you’re gonna lose with this guy!’ I was like what? It really motivated me to do it even more and I really feel like the best striker in the organization and I really want to fight him, challenge him and show the world what I’m capable of.
“I guarantee you that I am the best forward in the organization and a better forward than Max Holloway,” he continued. “I just need a chance to prove it. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a three-round fight, a five-round fight. I only give [Max] two … Yeah, I think I can do it.
The general consensus after Holloway beat Kattar’s brakes was that he would fight for the title again. But there are two things that make me think Max’s immediate future might involve a fight with Chikadze: First, current champion Alexander Volkanovski is set to film a season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), then face Brian Ortega in late summer / early fall 2021 (details).
Second, if Volkanovsky holds the belt, he’s already had two wins over Holloway. If Max is to keep the pressure on for a title shot, a few recent highlights would certainly help.
A fight against Chikadze could be seen as competitive enough to be interesting, but not too risky to worry the Holloway team. In a sport where you only get paid when you fight, does Max really want to wait until 2022 to compete again?
“My message is going to be: Max, you were a champion, you fought the best of the best from different divisions,” concluded Chikadze. “I am the new name of the organization and this is the fight you are looking for. You already have the belt. I know you are a candidate. But it’s a fight fans would enjoy the most. If you agree, I’m here.