Last week we learned that the main event between former UFC champion Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez was off. Holloway sustained an injury and had to pull out of the Fight Night main event that was scheduled for July 17th.
At first, it looked like the UFC was focused on getting the fight rescheduled. However, we have now learned that the promotion has been shopping for replacements in order to keep Rodriguez on the July 17th card.
The top name on the replacement list is the native of Georgia, Giga Chikadze (13-2). Chikadze made his UFC debut back in September of 2019 and he’s already fought six times for the promotion. He’s gone a perfect 6-0 inside the octagon.
After some close decisions to start his UFC career, Chikadze has been incredibly dominant. His last two performances really stood out as he stopped James Krause-Simmons and Cub Swanson in the first round by TKO.
The Cub Swanson victory was incredibly impressive and Chikadze has been moving up in the UFC‘s welterweight division. The promotion has called Chikadze about being the replacement and he says he’s accepted. However, he posted on his Instagram page that Rodriguez is playing games.
Will the UFC book the fight?
As you can see from the above video, Chikadze has accepted the UFC’s offer to replace Holloway. However, Rodriguez has yet to accept the fight and is said to be weighing his options.
A lot will come down to how long Max Holloway is going to be out. Rodriguez hasn’t fought in nearly two years and he needs to get back in the cage. However, it’s obvious that he relishes the opportunity to fight someone like Max Holloway.
Giga Chikadze is an incredibly dangerous fight for Rodriguez. Chikadze could use him as a stepping stone and Rodriguez wouldn’t gain a ton by picking up the win himself. If Holloway isn’t going to be out too long, I expect Rodriguez to hold out for the former UFC champion.
However, if Holloway’s return is going to take some time, he should take this fight with Chikadze. He needs to get back in there and Chikadze would be a great fight for him.