HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Giga Chikadze believes he is ready for a title shot now, but he has no problem getting through Calvin Kattar first.

Chikadze (14-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) meets Kattar (22-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night main event on Jan. 15 and with Max Holloway having already lost to featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski twice, Chikadze thinks that makes his case for a title shot even stronger.

“Definitely,” Chikadze told MMA Junkie Radio. “I think I could even fight without him. There is no one to fight for the title. I don’t know if they’re gonna schedule Max because he beat Yair (Rodriguez) and Calvin. They’ve been talking about this, and I get it, but this fight already happened twice. So I could pass this and just ask for a title (shot), but I want to fight someone from the top five, and Calvin Kattar’s name came. I think that was the only guy who wasn’t busy, and ‘Zombie’ (Chan Sung Jung) was injured, so I picked Kattar, and now we have him for January.”

He continued, “I’ve been saying this for a long time, and people didn’t believe it before. Now finally they’re starting to believe it. I’m the people’s champ. I can beat anyone in the featherweight division in the world, and I feel it’s time, and it’s time to make it all official. First things first, January and then we make all this official.”

Ali Abdelaziz: Giga Chikadze worst matchup for UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski

After going 4-0 in 2020, Chikadze was matched up with the upper echelon of the division and passed those tests with flying colors. He needed just over a minute to put veteran Cub Swanson away and finished dynamic striker Edson Barboza in his first main event in August.

He now draws hard-hitting Kattar, who wasn’t too pleased with some of Chikadze’s comments regarding his lopsided loss to Holloway in January. But for Chikadze, it’s nothing personal. He merely sees Kattar as a stepping stone to the top.

“He’s different, but he’s not way different,” Chikadze said of Kattar. “He’s good. He’s got good hands, and he comes from a wrestling background. In general, what I see from this guy is he has the heart to fight. He doesn’t break, and he always comes forward. This type of fight is a fun fight for the fans. I’m excited, plus I saw in some interview he gave days ago saying that ‘He’s gonna make me pay.’

“He mentioned that I said something about his last fight. Brother, the whole world said something about your last fight. It’s kind of funny and honestly, when I watched this fight, I was commentating on Georgian TV live, and I was on his side. I wanted him to beat Max, but whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to face him in January, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Kattar, Max, I’m always ready. Even if the opponent changes, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready to smash my next opponent.”

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