Unbeaten in the UFC, Chikadze (14-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) has emerged as a top contender after he strung together back-to-back finishes of veteran strikers Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza.
Following his win over Barboza, the active Chikadze demanded he either face Holloway or the winner of this Saturday’s featherweight title fight between champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.
“I believe Max needs to fight me to go to the title shot next time,” Chikadze told Submission Radio. “No one really wants to see Max and Alex fight again and again and again. I’m the new dog in the division, and I’ll be proving with my kicks and punches that I’m the real deal. I don’t talk without no reason. I’m not a dreamer. When I say I’m gonna knock people out, I knock people out. So, I believe I deserve this fight since Max was already scheduled (to fight Yair) before this fight. Now it’s time for me to get a big fight like Max. I’m ready to do it.”
Holloway (22-6 MMA, 18-6 UFC) is currently scheduled to face Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Nov. 13, but that won’t stop Chikadze from campaigning for the fight. He’s confident that not only can he match Holloway’s volume and striking, but he can put a hurting on the former champion who’s never been finished by strikes.
“I know he’s a champion, and for me he’s a people’s champ,” Chikadze said. “I think he won his last fight. So that’s the fight to happen. I have a seven-fight win streak, (I’m a) very busy guy with the fights. I always take short-notice, long-notice, whatever notice and take the fight, and he needs to fight me. There’s a fight to happen. People want to see this fight.”
He continued, “He said he’s the best boxer, right? I know I’m the best striker. So, this fight is going to be a standing fight, and I guarantee you when the fight finishes he will be walking with crutches.”
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Although Chikadze considers Holloway the champion after he lost a razor-thin decision to Volkanovski at UFC 251, he thinks Holloway is stylistically an easier matchup for him than the champion.
“I think he (Alex) lost the last fight,” Chikadze said. “I think he lost with Max his last fight. But yeah, he’s a good fighter. He’s a very, very strong fighter. But for me, the champion today is Max. That’s all I can say about it.”
He continued, “I think Max would be an even easier fight for me. I know the weakness of Max more. I didn’t really study much Alex. I mean, he’s such short fighter, I’m gonna have a lot of advantages. This is what I believe. I know a lot of people are gonna say this and that, but I think that’s a great matchup for me.”
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