UFC featherweight contender Giga Chikadze has looked back on his January loss to Calvin Kattar and revealed one major regret.
In the very first event of 2022, 145-pound elites Chikadze and Kattar battle it out for a place in the title picture. For the Georgian, the bout marked his eighth UFC contest and second consecutive main event. He entered the clash with an unblemished 7-0 record and off the back of a knockout victory over Edson Barboza.
But the step-up in competition on January 15 proved to be too much, with “The Boston Finisher” brutally beating and bloodying Chikadze across five rounds en route to a convincing unanimous decision win on the scorecards.
While the UFC Vegas 46 matchup pitted two of the best against each other in what promised to be a striker’s delight, much of the pre-fight discussion involved reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski.
After Max Holloway pulled out of their scheduled UFC 272 bout, the Australian was in need of another opponent for his third title defense. And Chikadze didn’t mince his words when it came to calling his shot, with “Ninja” blasting the champ, branding him a “chump” and the “easiest fight in the top 10.”
Despite warning his opponent not to overlook him, it appeared obvious that Kattar’s words hadn’t been listened to, something that Chikadze himself has now admitted.
During an interview with MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn, the Georgian harked back to his first Octagon setback. Chikadze expressed regret over the focus he placed on Volkanovski’s gold and insisted that he’s learned from the experience.
“I feel like in my last fight I was aiming (for a) completely different goal,” Chikadze said. “Even though I was fighting Calvin in the ring, I was looking forward to my title shot. I think I’m a really experienced fighter and I shouldn’t be making these types of mistakes in my fights. But sh*t happens. I’m a human being.
“All my life it’s been my goal to get a UFC title shot. And now I know how I have to deal with that, how I have to concentrate, and next time I will be completed concentrated on my opponent, and that’s it,” Chikadze concluded.
While Chikadze’s return date and opponent are not yet set, the 33-year-old has stated a preference for both. As well as targeting a return to action in September, “Ninja” has made his desire to share the cage with former two-time title challenger “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung clear.
If that matchup goes come together, it stands to reason that, judging by his latest remarks, Chikadze won’t be looking past “TKZ.”
Do you agree with Giga Chikadze’s assessment of his UFC Vegas 46 mistakes?