Chikadze: Volkanovski ducking me, wants 'easy task' vs. Jung
Giga Chikadze has a theory on why UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski wants his next title defense to be against Chan Sung Jung.
When Max Holloway withdrew from his March 5 trilogy bout against Volkanovski last week, Chikadze was one of the many fighters who threw their name in the hat. Volkanovski has since narrowed in on "The Korean Zombie" as his preferred replacement opponent, and Chikadze believes that's because Jung is an easier matchup for the champion.
"I know the champ, the chump, he's trying to have an easy task," Chikadze told MMA Fighting's Damon Martin.
He added: "Top 10, everybody's very tough. ... But I believe I already beat one of the strongest guys in the division (Edson Barboza) last time. And now the easiest one (out of) all of these guys is 'The Korean Zombie,' for me. That's how I see the champ looking to get this fight, because he wants to go the easy way."
Chikadze is scheduled to headline the first UFC event of 2022 in a pivotal featherweight clash against Calvin Kattar on Jan. 15. With a victory, he'd likely move into the top five. But that's apparently not enough to pique Volkanovski's interest; he shut down the possibility of facing Chikadze next on Twitter.
Chikadze, who felt disrespected by Volkanovski's message, believes the Australian is afraid to fight him.
"He knows that I'm, for him, the hardest and strongest fight," Chikadze said. "That's why he's trying to avoid me. I understand he wants to stay safe and make money in this. But I'm here to become a champion. I feel like I'm ready to take over everything, and I will take over everything."