Giga Chikadze has had a fast rise in the UFC’s featherweight division and his manager Ali Abdelaziz sees him going all the way.
Since joining the UFC roster in September 2019, Chikadze (14-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) has gone unbeaten in seven fights and is coming off back-to-back stoppage wins over longtime UFC standouts Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza.
The former Glory kickboxer has been eager for a fast track and will look to break into title contention when he faces Calvin Kattar (22-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in his second straight UFC main event on Jan. 15.
But not only does Abdelaziz, the CEO of Dominance MMA, think Chikadze will beat Kattar, he sees him as the one to solve the puzzle of UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (23-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC).
“Much respect to Calvin Kattar for taking this fight because nobody wanted to fight Giga,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “This is a fact. I think Giga is one of the best featherweights – maybe is the best featherweight – on the planet today. I believe he will be a future champion, and I believe he’s a bad matchup for the champ – the worst matchup for the champ, because the guy can punch, he can kick, he has great grappling and his takedown defense is impeccable. If people think Giga is a kickboxer, they’re crazy.
“Giga is a world champion in BJJ with a gi. He’s a blue belt, too. People don’t know this. Everybody said Barboza is the best striker in the division. We saw what he did. (Chikadze) made him look like an amateur. They can fight 10 times, he would have knocked Barboza out 10 times. I believe he will knock out the champ. I believe Calvin Kattar is so tough. I’m not going to say he’s going to knock him out, but it’s possible because he’s just so tough. I think it’s going to be a nice win for him and it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.”
Just weeks before Chikadze was booked against Kattar, the 33-year-old Georgian made a case to fight Volkanovski next and even made a bold prediction on how a potential fight between him and Max Holloway would go and claimed “Blessed” would be “walking with crutches” after they fought.
Twitter reacts to Giga Chikadze’s thrilling TKO of Edson Barboza at UFC on ESPN 30