UFC working on Alexander Volkanovski – Chan Sung Jung

Well, it appears that the UFC is closing in on a replacement for Max Holloway. Last week it was announced that Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) and Holloway would be completing their trilogy for the featherweight title. However, just days after the initial announcement, the fight was off. 

Holloway tweaked an injury and the fight was called off. However, the UFC is wanting to keep Volkanovski active as the timetable for Holloway’s return is not known. With that, all top featherweight contenders started volunteering for a shot at the champion.

Even Henry Cejudo through his name in the hat to replace Holloway at UFC 272. Giga Chikadze, who is competing this weekend, had his reps come out and say that he would love the fight assuming he gets through Calvin Kattar on Saturday.

All that being said, it appears that the UFC and the champion have settled on a replacement. From the beginning, Volkanovski made it clear with a tweet on who he preferred to fight. It’s a guy he’s wanted to fight for some time and that guy is The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung (17-6).

UFC 273 Main Event

Volkanovski has made it clear that he’s wanted to compete against The Zombie for sometime. However, the fight never came together and now, it appears like it’s going to. Ariel Helwani reported yesterday that the UFC is planning on this fight with a change to the original date.

Originally, the UFC was planning on Volkanovski and Holloway fighting in March. However, now the plan is for the Volkanovski – Jung matchup to take place in April at UFC 273. In addition, it also looks like the title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan which was the UFC 272 co-main event will also shift to April.

Could mean big things for the March PPV. The last time we saw Jung was back in June when he headlined a Fight Night against Dan Ige. The Zombie put on a great performance and earned himself a decision win. It was a nice bounce back after his loss to Brian Ortega.

Overall, Jung is 3-1 in his last four UFC fights. This will be his second crack at the title but it will be his first shot since he lost to Jose Aldo back in 2013.

Max Holloway out of UFC 272 title fight

Well, the UFC was riding high this week with big fight announcements. Another huge announcement came just today when we learned that Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis would be fighting next month in Houston.

One other fight that was announced this week was the UFC 272 title fight between Max Holloway (23-6) and Alexander Volkanovski (23-1). The trilogy was going to take place in March and was set to settle the debate on who is truly the best featherweight in the world.

However, days after the fight was announced, the fight is off. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Max Holloway has reaggravated an injury and has been forced to pull out of the UFC 272 title fight. The injury occurred in one of Holloway’s first days back in camp.

Last year, Holloway was supposed to fight Yair Rodriguez in July. However, he sustained an injury which pushed the fight back later in the year. Supposedly, this same injury is why he’s had to pull out of his UFC 272 title fight.

The UFC’s Plan

This is a big blow to UFC 272 which was planning on this title fight headlining the card. Holloway informed the promotion that he had to withdrawal yesterday. The promotion is currently trying to figure out the next steps. Apparently, there is no current timeframe on Holloway’s recovery.

More than likely, you’ll see this fight stick together but be pushed back. Outside of Holloway, there’s not really a contender that would make sense to take on Volkanovski. For that reason alone, I don’t see the UFC slotting someone else in that spot.

The hope is that Holloway can bounce back quickly from this injury and the fight can be rebooked. Word is that a timeframe if the injury is minor would be around May or June for the trilogy. I would expect the UFC to try and add another title fight to the March card with this fight falling out.

UFC books Alex Volkanovski – Max Holloway 3

The UFC has finalized the trilogy fight which should settle the question on who is the best featherweight in the world. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) will defend his featherweight title against Max Holloway (23-6).

The matchup will headline UFC 272 which will take place on March 5th. The news was confirmed by Dana White who broke the story to Okamoto. For Max Holloway, he will be looking to re-establish himself at the top of the featherweight mountain.

When Max Holloway rose to the top and became UFC champion, it was hard to envision him losing the crown. However, Alexander Volkanovski shocked Holloway by defeating him at UFC 245. The two immediately ran the fight back at UFC 251 on Fight Island.

The second fight was much closer with many believing Holloway got the win. However, Volkanovski won a split decision. Since the split decision loss, Holloway has had two incredibly impressive wins against Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez which has earned him another crack at the champion.

UFC’s Australian King

I will be the first to admit that I haven’t always given Alexander Volkanovski the respect he deserved. I thought his win at UFC 245 was a fluke and I figured Holloway would take the belt back from him in their rematch. The way the second fight started, that narrative was playing out.

However, Volkanovski showed championship heart and resolve and stormed back in the championship rounds to win a decision. Then, Volkanovski took on Brian Ortega back in September. Again, I was overlooking the champion and thought he was in danger of dropping the title.

However, he put on a tremendous performance at UFC 266 and once again had to dig down deep. Twice in that fight, he could’ve tapped due to some deep submissions. However, he showed great heart and went on to dominate the challenger.

This is Volkanovski’s chance to once and for all put to rest the narrative that Holloway is better than him. Despite winning the first two fights, there are still doubters out there. If he wins at UFC 272, nobody can say anything else.

Who will be UFC champion after 2022? (Flyweight – Lightweight)

2021 was an incredible year for the UFC. This year, the world’s biggest MMA promotion welcomed back fans in the arenas after 2020 ended with empty arenas due to the ongoing pandemic.

Thinking back, there were so many memorable moments for the promotion. Starting the year at UFC 257 where Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor in the second round. Then they rematched at UFC 264 and the fight ended with Conor McGregor snapping his leg.

There was UFC 261 that saw the first sellout for the promotion since shutting things down in 2020. Kamaru Usman knocked Jorge Masvidal out cold. Rose Namajunas knocked out Zhang Weili to become a two-time strawweight champion.

Of course, how could you not mention UFC 269 where Julianna Pena shocked the world by stopping Amanda Nunes. I could go on and on about how big of a year this was for the promotion. So many titles changed hands and so many epic fights.

Now, it’s time for the UFC to look forward to 2022. Last year, we published our predictions for who we believed would be champions once 2021 ended and it was a mixed bag of results. That said, let’s preview 2021 and predict who will be UFC champions at the end of next year.

UFC 2022 Champions

Flyweight – Deiveson Figueiredo

Currently the UFC flyweight champion is Brandon Moreno (19-5-2). Moreno defeated Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) earlier this year for the flyweight title. These two ended 2020 with an incredible fight that saw the two men fight to a draw.

They ran things back this year and Moreno completely dominated the fight and submitted Figueiredo. They will fight for a third time at UFC 270 in January. Now, the popular pick right now is taking Brandon Moreno. In trilogies, whoever wins the second fight is much more likely to win the third.

However, I still believe that Figueiredo is the best flyweight in the world when he’s at his best. I don’t believe we saw the best Figueiredo during their second fight. I think he’s going to be motivated for this third fight and I think he takes the belt back and keeps it for the rest of 2022.

Bantamweight – Petr Yan

Currently, the UFC bantamweight champion is Aljamain Sterling (20-3). Petr Yan (16-2) is the interim champion. These two fought back in March and Yan was dominating the fight. However, Sterling won the title after Yan hit him with an illegal knee in the fourth round.

Due to neck surgery, we haven’t seen Sterling since. Yan went on to fight and defeat Cory Sandhagen for the interim title back at UFC 267. Make no mistake about it, Petr Yan is the best bantamweight in the world.

He’s going to fight Sterling in the first part of 2022 and I think he finishes him. After that, he’s likely going to have to face TJ Dillashaw (17-4) at some point and that’s going to be a very tough fight. However, I don’t see anyone at 135 defeating Yan next year.

Featherweight – Alexander Volkanovski

Arguably the one UFC champion that I feel like I’ve underestimated the most is Alexander Volkanovski (23-1). I thought the featherweight champion was the third best featherweight entering 2021 behind Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.

When the year started, I thought Ortega would become champion. However, Volkanovski showed the world that he was the best featherweight when he brutalized Ortega at UFC 267. In reality, Volkanovski is likely going to have his trilogy with Max Holloway next.

There just isn’t any other appealing contenders in the UFC’s featherweight division. When Holloway defeated Calvin Kattar to start 2021, he looked like the best in the world. However, he didn’t against Yair Rodriguez while Volkanovski did against Ortega.

I think Volkanovski will defeat Holloway for a third time in 2022 and I think he will close the year as the UFC’s featherweight champion. Who knows, Volkanovski might even try to move up to lightweight after defeating Holloway for a third time.

Lightweight – Charles Oliveira

The division with the biggest stars in the sport is the UFC’s lightweight division. The lightweight division is incredibly stacked with big names and big talents. That said, nobody in the world is better than the champion, Charles Oliveira (32-8).

Oliveira has shown the world this year just how special he is. In the last 12 months, he’s brutalized Tony Ferguson and finished both Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier. Next, he will take on Justin Gaethje (23-3). Gaethje will be another massive challenge, but I’m picking Oliveira in that one.

The one guy to watch to challenge Oliveira is Islam Makhachev (21-1). The only man in the world I think who can beat Oliveira right now is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib is of course retired, but his protégé fights very similar to him.

Makhavchev is fighting Beneil Dariush in the first part of 2022. Whoever wins that fight will be in line for a UFC title shot. Assuming Oliveira gets through Gaethje, I think we are setting up for a late summer clash between Oliviera and Makhachev.

UFC: Is the Volkanovski trilogy or McGregor rematch next for Max Holloway?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 42, Max Holloway (23-6) took on Yair Rodriguez (13-3, 1 NC). Holloway entered the bout as a massive betting favorite on the heels of his insanely dominant performance against Calvin Kattar back in January.

However, it was apparent from the opening round at UFC Vegas 42 that this was going to be a different fight. Rodriguez started out insanely strong and I think it caught Holloway off guard a bit. It took Holloway a little to find his rhythm and Rodriguez was landing bombs.

Halfway through the fight, we saw Holloway really start to turn it on. The former UFC featherweight champion turned up the pressure and mixed things up beautifully. All of this played a huge role in him winning the latter half of the fight.

In the end, the judges gave Holloway a unanimous decision victory. It was Holloway’s second victory of the year and it puts him in a great position as the calendar gets ready to turn over to 2022.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 42?

There are a few options on the table for Max Holloway at the moment. The obvious choice seems to be the trilogy fight with Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) for the UFC featherweight title. So far, Holloway is 0-2 in his bouts against Volkanovski.

However, a majority seem to believe that Holloway won the second fight despite two of the judges giving the fight to Volkanovski. Holloway has established himself as clearly the second best featherweight in the world behind the champion.

It’s basically Holloway and Volkanovski then a gap before you reach the next contender. However, there is another option out there for Holloway if he isn’t interested in challenging Volkanovski for a third time.

That option would be moving up to lightweight for a rematch with Conor McGregor (22-6). These two have playfully gone back and forth for years after their first meeting years ago. McGregor won their first fight by decision.

McGregor even shared a video of him staring down Holloway during Holloway’s introduction at UFC Vegas 42. Holloway has expressed interest in fighting McGregor once The Notorious one returns which should be in the late spring. Time will tell, but there are some good options for The Blessed Express.

After successful title defense at UFC 266, what’s next for Alexander Volkanovski?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 266, Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) defended his featherweight title against Brian Ortega (15-2, 1 NC). Ortega was getting his second crack at UFC gold while Volkanovski was trying to defend for the second time.

When this fight was first announced, I really liked Ortega’s chances. The Brian Ortega that fought Chan Sung Jung last year looked like he could be the guy to take out Volkanovski. Or, so I thought.

Volkanovski has had an interesting run so for as UFC champion. He did the unthinkable when he defeated Max Holloway (22-6) to win the title. Then he barely edged out Holloway in the second fight to retain.

However, the split decision nature of the second fight has casted some doubts regarding his status as UFC champion. Well, Saturday night he did a pretty damn good job of silencing those who casted doubt.

From the opening bell, Volkanovski controlled the fight. Sensational feints and pinpoint striking had Ortega flustered throughout the fight. However, there was one moment where the fight almost went to Ortega.

Ortega locked in a mounted guillotine in the third round. It was so deep that I was tapping from my chair at home. However, the UFC champion gutted it out and survived. Ultimately, he won a lopsided unanimous decision.

What’s next after UFC 266?

Volkanovski now finds himself in an interesting spot after UFC 266. To me, the clear option for his next opponent is the trilogy with Max Holloway. However, Holloway has a fight with Yair Rodriguez in November so there’s likely going to be a layoff for the champ.

Nobody is expecting Holloway to have troubles with Yair Rodriguez so I think the plan is already in place for the UFC to do the trilogy. However, there could be an outside the box idea that could get considered.

Henry Cejudo (16-2) continues to tease a comeback. The former two-division UFC champion and Olympic Gold Medalist retired last year after defending his bantamweight crown. He’s talked about his desire to capture a belt in three weight classes which has never been done.

I do not expect the UFC to go in this direction, but I wouldn’t dismiss it either. If Volkanovski wants to fight relatively close to the beginning of the year, they might have to go a different direction than Holloway. That direction could be the King of Cringe.

What’s next for Brian Ortega after UFC 266?

Brian Ortega, UFC

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 266, the featherweight title was on the line. After coaching on The Ultimate Fighter, Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) defended his UFC title against Brian “T-City” Ortega (15-2, 1 NC).

I was incredibly intrigued by what kind of fight we would see from both men. Somehow, Volkanovski always seems to fly under the radar. Probably considering the fact that most believe he lost his second fight to Max Holloway.

Nevertheless, he holds two wins over Holloway and a win over Jose Aldo. He was the slight favorite, but there were a lot of people high on Brian Ortega. To be honest, I was one of them.

After Ortega’s performance against The Korean Zombie, I was convinced he was going to win the UFC title. However, over the last couple of weeks, I changed my pick leading up to the fight because I overlook Volkanovski so much and I’m glad I switched.

Ortega was game, but all night Volkanovski was a step ahead. However, there were two moments where Ortega almost got the win. In the third round, Ortega locked in a deep mounted guillotine choke.

Volkanovski admitted that he thought he was going to lose the belt, but he survived. Later in the round, Ortega almost got a triangle choke but against the champion slipped out. At the end of the day, Ortega came close, but Volkanovski retained at UFC 266.

What’s next for T-City after UFC 266?

Brian Ortega has now had two shots at UFC gold and he’s been brutalized in both of those fights. Max Holloway beat him up so bad that the doctors had to call a stop to the action.

The doctors almost had to call a stop to the fight on Saturday as well. However, despite how swollen and bloody Ortega got, he never stopped trying. In fact, he pushed forward and threw everything he had in the final round on Saturday night.

To me, it’s clear that Brian Ortega is not the best featherweight in the UFC, but he might be the toughest. His heart is unmatched and he wasn’t going anywhere despite the damage he took from the champion.

After this loss, he’s going to need to take some time off. However, when he’s ready to return, I think he’ll be right back in the mix. The Max Holloway – Yair Rodriguez fight is being looked at as a title eliminator in November.

Personally, I think a great fight would be with him and whoever loses that fight. That would give him enough time off, but it would also give him someone in a similar position. That’s what I think the UFC should do next for Ortega.

Alexander Volkanovski defeats Brian Ortega in a classic at UFC 266

In the main event of UFC 266, we saw a showdown for the featherweight championship. The undisputed UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) was back to defend his title against “T-City” Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC).

Alexander Volkanovski lost his fourth professional fight which occurred in 2013. He hasn’t lost since. The champion is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC which includes two victories over Max Holloway. Volkanovski was hoping to add Ortega to his hit list.

That said, Brian Ortega was not going to be an easy challenge to overcome. T-City looks like a completely different fighter than he was a few of years ago when he got his first crack at the UFC title against Max Holloway.

After nearly a two year layoff due to injuries, Ortega returned last October and outclassed Chan Sung Jung. In that fight he showed tremendous improvement in his striking. He believes he’s now ready to become the UFC featherweight champion.

UFC 266 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 266 main event started with a touch of the gloves. Volkanovski throws a low kick to start the striking. Ortega looking to strike from range here in the opening minute. Body kick lands from the champion.

Low kick from Volkanovski and Ortega comes up top with a head kick attempt. Ortega pushes forward with a couple of nice jabs. A nice jab from Volkanovski as Ortega enters range. Big overhand right from the champion.

Nice low kick lands for Ortega. Ortega lands a jab that looked like it wobbled the legs of Volkanovski briefly, but he appears okay. Volkanovski goes right back to pressuring and lands some nice leg kicks.

Body kick from Volkanovski and he lands a check left hook. Jab lands for Ortega. Stiff jab from Volkanovski. Big right hand lands for Volkanovski. Both men are bleeding here near the end of the first.

Nice combination lands for Volkanovski and Ortega lands a nice leg kick. Body kick from the champion and Ortega lands a couple of nice straights. Ortega lands a couple of nice shots near the end of the first, but I have it 1-0 Volkanovski at UFC 266.

Round 2

Both men had their moments in the first at UFC 266 and neither gained a ton of momentum. The second starts with another touch of the gloves and Volkanovski goes right back to the pressure with low kicks.

Body kick from Volkanovski is countered by a beautiful combination from Ortega. Low kick from the champion lands and Ortega counters with a jab. Left hook from Volkanovski. Powerful leg kick from Ortega spins around Volkanovski.

Volkanovski lands a body kick flush. He steps in but Ortega lands a nice combination to back him off. Good lead hook from the champion. Volkanovski stepping up the pressure here.

Nice right hand by Ortega lands but Volkanovski is just plotting forward. Jab from Ortega countered by two leg kicks from Volkanovski. Huge combination lands for the champion and he’s getting more aggressive here.

Powerful leg kick from Ortega backs Volkanovski up for a second. However, the champion keeps moving forward. Another good 1-2 lands for Volkanovski. Jab from Volkanovski countered by a leg kick from Ortega. The second ends nd I think it’s 2-0 Volkanovski at UFC 266.

Round 3

Brian Ortega has had moments, but he needs to win this round. They touch gloves to start the third and Ortega lands a jab to start the striking. Good low kick counter from Volkanovski. Volkanovski lands another kick and that one seemed to hurt Ortega a little.

Ortega tries to counter but doesn’t land. Pressure from the champion who’s looking for that leg kick. Ortega steps in and eats a massive combination from Volkanovski. Ortega seems a little wobbly here and Volkanovski is putting a ton of pressure on him.

However, a big combination from Ortega stops the pressure. Nice overhand shot from Volkanovski. Ortega is really busted up now, but he comes back and lands a good shot. Big left hand lands for Volkanovski.

Nice left hook lands for Ortega but his nose looks smashed. Nice jab from the champion. Volkanovski slips and Ortega takes big advantage. Ortega locks in a mounted guillotine and it’s very tight.

The champion almost seems out but somehow survives. Volkanovski then gets top position and he’s pouring it on Ortega badly. Then Ortega locks in a triangle choke and it’s very deep.

Once again the champion survives and pushes through. Volkanovski starts raining down massive shots to the end the round. Goodness gracious what a round at UFC 266.

Round 4

Entering the fourth and the fans are on their feet at UFC 266. The doctors almost stopped it in between rounds but we fight on. Volkanovski immediately on the pressure to start the fourth round.

Low kick lands for the champion. Two straight jabs from Volkanovski. Ortega is still trying to recover a bit. The challenger is plotting forward now and lands a nice right hand. Good jab from Volkanovski finds the mark.

Powerful left hook lands from the champion. Ortega gets a body lock and gets a takedown. The challenger immediately tries to jump on another choke, but he can’t lock it in. Volkanovski ends up on top and the ground and pound starts.

Big elbows from Volkanovski landing here. Ortega is still trying to attack with submissions, but he seems really exhausted here. Big shots landing from the champion. Volkanovski postures up and he’s landing massive shots on Ortega.

The referee is looking at stopping this one. More big shots from Volkanovski land. Volkanovski backs up and lets Ortega stand up. Ortega looks out on his feet, but he makes it to the end of the round. 4-0 Volkanovski at UFC 266.

Round 5

Entering the final round at UFC 266 and Ortega is going to need a miracle here. They touch gloves and here we go. Ortega pushes forward and tries to land a big shot but nothing home.

Head kick attempt from Ortega and Volkanovski is pressing forward. Big jab from Volkanovski lands. He doubles up on it which forces a takedown attempt from Ortega. Volkanovski backs him up and lands an elbow against the fence.

Nice little right hook lands for Ortega. Ortega coming on a little here the fifth and he’s really trying. Volkanovski lands a nice combination which slows him down a bit. Ortega is now the one pushing forward as Volkanovski is slowing a bit.

Big right hand over the top from Ortega. These two are just standing and trading. Nice uppercut and right hand from Ortega. Now it’s Volkanovski who starts pressuring the challenger.

Nice jab lands for Volkanovski. Flying knee to the body lands for Ortega. Ortega is wearing damage but he’s just walking forward through everything. They both trading big shots. Ortega goes all out in the final seconds but can’t find the finish. He will win the final round, but not the fight.

Alexander Volkanovski def. Brian Ortega by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, 49-46)

UFC 266 Preview: Alexander Volkanovski – Brian Ortega

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 266, we will see a showdown for the featherweight championship. The undisputed UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) is back to defend his title against “T-City” Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC).

This fight comes on the heels of the two men coaching opposite each other on this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Originally, they were supposed to fight in March, however, the fight got pushed back after the champion came down with covid.

Alexander Volkanovski lost his fourth professional fight which occurred in 2013. He hasn’t lost since. The champion is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC which includes two victories over Max Holloway. Volkanovski is hoping to add Ortega next to his hit list.

That said, Brian Ortega is not going to be an easy challenge to overcome. T-City looks like a completely different fighter than he was a few of years ago when he got his first crack at the UFC title against Max Holloway.

After nearly a two year layoff due to injuries, Ortega returned last October and outclassed Chan Sung Jung. In that fight he showed tremendous improvement in his striking. He believes he’s now ready to become the UFC featherweight champion.

UFC 266 Prediction

I’m expecting Brian Ortega to start out really strong at UFC 266. To be completely honest with you, I think he’s going to take the champion by surprise throughout the first two rounds on the feet.

Perhaps, maybe even Ortega hurts the champion here or there. However, I think Volkanovski is going to press through it. On pure activity, I really like Volkanovski the longer the fight goes.

The champion has shown the ability to make adjustments on the fly and adapt to whatever his opponent is doing. He did that in his last fight with Max Holloway and I think he’ll do it again tomorrow night.

We are in for a tremendous main event, but I truly believe that the UFC title is going to stay with New Zealand’s City Kickboxing tomorrow night. It’ll be close, but Volkanovski will retain.

Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski by Split Decision

After sensational win at UFC Vegas 35, what’s next for Giga Chikadze?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 35, we saw a big time showdown in the featherweight division. Two of the very best and most dynamic strikers in the promotion went head-to-head as Giga Chikadze (14-2) took on Edson Barboza (22-10).

Since moving down to 145 pounds, Edson Barboza has looked tremendous. Had it not been for poor judging, he would’ve carried a perfect record at 145 pounds into UFC Vegas 35‘s main event.

That said, Chikadze was going to be his toughest test to date. Barboza has always been known for his tremendous striking. However, this was really the first time he was going to be going up against someone that’s at a higher level.

Giga Chikadze showed just how special he is on Saturday night. Barboza has always stifled opponents with his speed and power. However, he was lacking in both of those categories compared to Chikadze on Saturday night.

Giga landed beautiful kicks throughout the first couple of rounds. He also had bursts where he was so much faster compared to Barboza. Eventually, he caught him with the shot he was looking for. In the third round, Chikadze poured it on and stopped Barboza at UFC Vegas 35.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 35?

After the fight was over, there was one name on the mind of Giga Chikadze. That name was former UFC featherweight champion and arguably the greatest featherweight in the history of the promotion, Max Holloway (22-6).

Holloway was supposed to headline a Fight Night in July against Yair Rodriguez. That bout was expected to be a UFC title eliminator, however, Holloway had to pull out of the fight with an injury.

Currently, the UFC is targeting that fight for November according to Dana White. However, Chikadze might have changed the plan. There’s no word on it yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the promotion tries to get Chikadze in that spot.

If Holloway isn’t next, Chikadze wants to be the backup fighter for the UFC 266 main event. Next month, Alexander Volkanovski will defend against Brian Ortega. If one of those guys falls out, Chikadze wants to be the backup. I could see the promotion doing that as well.

Either way, Chikadze is going to be at the very top of the UFC’s featherweight division once the new rankings come out. Don’t be surprised to see the featherweight from Georgia in a title eliminator in his next fight.