"Let me save the show" - Rising UFC featherweight offers to step in to fight Yair Rodriguez in July

Yair Rodriguez is one of the top MMA fighters from Mexico
Yair Rodriguez is one of the top MMA fighters from Mexico
Johny Payne

Rising UFC featherweight Giga Chikadze has offered to step in to fight Yair Rodriguez in July. Chikadze asserted that he’d like to “save the show” by taking the short-notice fight.

Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was scheduled to fight fellow high-ranking UFC featherweight star Yair Rodriguez this July. A five-round featherweight bout between Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez was set to headline the UFC on ESPN: Holloway vs. Rodriguez fight card on July 17th, 2021.

However, Holloway was coerced to withdraw from the aforementioned fight due to injury issues. This, in turn, has left Yair Rodriguez without an opponent for the July 17th fight card.

On that note, Giga Chikadze has seemingly offered to come to the rescue. Chikadze took to his official Twitter account and sent a few tweets directed towards Yair Rodriguez.

Chikadze’s tweets read as follows:

“Let me save the show @ufc @danawhite @seanshelby @AliAbdelaziz00. Don’t be scared homie @panteraufc”
“Yes! I do need a big name and this is an opportunity! @panteraufc I know you’ve been asked, lets do some #NINJASHOW for the fans, Mortal Kombat! @ufc @danawhite @seanshelby @AliAbdelaziz00”

Giga Chikadze suggested that he needs a big-name/high-profile opponent to ascend to the next level in his MMA career. The former kickboxer indicated that facing Yair Rodriguez would be a huge opportunity for him. The Georgian fighter also noted that Rodriguez has been asked if he wants to face him.

Furthermore, staying true to his moniker, ‘Ninja’, Giga Chikadze urged ‘El Pantera’ to fight him and give the fans a Ninja show. Chikadze even referenced the popular combat-based video game Mortal Kombat, alluding that a fight between him and Yair Rodriguez would be an absolute barnburner.

Giga Chikadze and Yair Rodriguez are heralded amongst the best strikers in the UFC featherweight division today

Cub Swanson (left); Giga Chikadze (right)
Cub Swanson (left); Giga Chikadze (right)

Giga Chikadze has a considerable amount of experience in the striking realm of combat sports. He’s undergone martial arts training since childhood and went on to amass a wealth of combat experience during his career as a kickboxer and MMA fighter.

Widely regarded as one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC featherweight division today, Giga Chikadze has lately earned significant praise for his ever-evolving overall MMA skill-set. Chikadze has competed in the sport of professional MMA since 2015, participated in Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018, and made his UFC main roster debut in 2019.

Giga Chikadze’s most recent fight witnessed him pick up the biggest win of his MMA career thus far. Chikadze defeated veteran MMA fighter and perennial UFC featherweight contender Cub Swanson via first-round TKO at UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka (May 2021).

Moreover, akin to Chikadze, Yair Rodriguez is also known for his brilliant striking skills. Rodriguez’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Weidman (October 2019).

Presently, the consensus in the MMA community is that the Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez matchup will be rescheduled for another date. Ergo, it currently appears unlikely that Chikadze will be booked against Rodriguez.

Watch our exclusive interview with Dustin 'The Diamond' Poirier right here!

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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