Georgian fighter Giga Chikadze is ready to get back in the Octagon after a long layoff, and he's got his sights set on a big-name opponent: Brian Ortega. According to Chikadze, the UFC is on board with the matchup, and it could be just what he needs to get back on track after his first UFC loss.
Chikadze has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride in the UFC so far. After bursting onto the scene with five straight wins, he suffered a setback in January 2022 when he lost to Calvin Kattar in a striking battle that left him battered and bruised. That was enough to force him out of a scheduled fight against Sodiq Yusuff later in the year, but he's now itching to get back in action.
“It’s been definitely a long time for me,” Chikadze told MMA Underground. “And it’s been crazy because you guys know how busy I was in that same amount of time at the beginning of my UFC career. I fought like five fights. It’s been pretty hard for me to stay like that and wait for my chance. Now we’re having some (talk) with the UFC, and they’re giving some good names.”
One of those good names is Ortega, who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery. The former title challenger has a 7-3 record in the UFC and is known for his grappling prowess, which would make for an interesting matchup against Chikadze's striking skills.
Chikadze seems excited about the prospect of facing Ortega, and he believes it's a matchup that the UFC is interested in as well.
“We talked to the UFC and from the top 10, not too many people are ready to go,” Chikadze said. “Most of them are either injured or have opponents. One of the guys who doesn’t have an opponent – he’s been injured but he’s recovering – is Brian Ortega. UFC said they like this fight and I know that UFC talked to Brian about this fight. I heard that he likes this fight and he has intentions to fight me. So it’s absolutely a great opportunity if he would accept it. … They’re thinking it’s going to be the end of July or August.”
It's unclear when or where this potential matchup would take place, but Chikadze is ready to get back in action as soon as possible. He knows that a win over a fighter like Ortega could be just what he needs to get back on track and make a push for a title shot in the featherweight division.