Giga Chikadze says he’ll be a backup at UFC 262 for featherweight or lightweight

·2 min read

Giga Chikadze is ready to step in if any of the fights fall through at UFC 262.

Chikadze (13-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is flying to Houston to support teammate Beneil Dariush, who fights Tony Ferguson in the co-main event Saturday. But if the UFC winds up needing a replacement opponent for any of the matchups at 145 or 155 pounds, Chikadze will be more than happy to jump in.

“What I’m doing now is I’m buying my ticket – I will be in Houston. And anybody (falls off), I’ll be there,” Chikadze recently told MMA Junkie. “I think it’s a very good show. My brother (Dariush) is fighting there, and I want to be there. If the fight happens for me, too, it would be amazing. But if the fight doesn’t happen, I’m still going to enjoy supporting Benny.

“145, 155 – yes. Both of them. I’ll be there.”

Chikadze has a few potential options. In the main card opener, a pivotal featherweight clash between Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza takes place. And the headliner is a vacant lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. Even Dariush is fighting at lightweight, and not that Chikadze would ever wish any ill will toward his teammate, but if he somehow doesn’t make it to the fight against Ferguson, that’s an option too.

Having competed a little more than a week ago when he picked up the biggest win of his career by finishing Cub Swanson at UFC on ESPN 23, Chikadze wants to keep the ball rolling. He went 4-0 in 2020 and wants to one-up himself this year by staying ready for any opportunity that opens up – even at welterweight if the matchup is worthy.

“It’s a little bit of a late start because I fought in May this time, but I want to be busy,” Chikadze said. “I want to break my old record. Last year I fought four times. I want to fight five times this year. It’s going to be a little hard probably, but I definitely want to break the record. So winning the fights in back-to-back weekends (would help). 145 or 155, anything big for 170, I’m open. … I’m really looking forward to Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier, I want to be a replacement for that fight as well.”