Giga Chikadze expected bigger advancement in the UFC’s official featherweight rankings after his main event win over Edson Barboza, and he’s disappointed he didn’t get it.

Chikadze (14-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) continued the hot start to his octagon tenure this past Saturday when he scored a third-round TKO of veteran Edson Barboza in the UFC on ESPN 30 headliner in Las Vegas. Chikadze secured multiple knockdowns en route to the stoppage, which he thought served as a breakout performance in his career.

The members of the rankings panel didn’t align with Chikadze’s confidence, though. He came into the fight at No. 10 against No. 9-ranked Barboza. And according to the latest rankings update, he’s now No. 8.

“I’m not happy with it,” Chikadze told MMA Junkie. “I was No. 10. I beat No. 9, but it was not just a regular No. 9, and it was not a decision, not a split decision, not a close fight. As I said: I kick the sh*t out of people. So this is what happened this weekend. When you beat somebody like Edson Barboza and you are No. 10 and he’s No. 9, you don’t just go one more and become No. 8. I have to be somewhere in the top five.

“I was hoping to get top three, because in the top three there’s another guy (Yair Rodriguez) who has not fought in all this time since I’m in UFC, and I fought seven times – seven times in less than two years. That’s something that really has to be mentioned. They put me just top eight, so I was a little bit sad.”

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Chikadze made his UFC debut in September 2019, but his stint with the promotion has already been filled with a number of highs. The Georgian fighter isn’t satisfied, however, and seemingly won’t be until he has a UFC belt around his waist.

In the immediate aftermath of his win over Barboza, Chikadze offered to be the backup fighter for the UFC 266 title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. He also called out former champion Max Holloway for a clash of high-level strikers.

As the days go on, and Chikadze again gets the itch to fight, he said he’s willing to broaden his list of potential opponents. He certainly doesn’t want to fight backward in the rankings, but would be happy to share the cage with Rodriguez, Chan Sung Jung or Calvin Kattar.

“I’m just upset (about) the ranking,” Chikadze said. “I want to see myself as one of the top guys because because I want to fight for the title very soon – as fast as possible. I want to be a replacement for the title fight. If not, I want to fight Max or Yair … something that would get me to the title – (‘Korean Zombie’). Or you know what? Even if they gave me Kattar, I wouldn’t be upset.”


Twitter reacts to Giga Chikadze’s thrilling TKO of Edson Barboza at UFC on ESPN 30


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