Kattar: Chikadze 'paid for' focusing too much on Volkanovski
Calvin Kattar taught Giga Chikadze a lesson.
Kattar, the UFC's No. 5-ranked featherweight, defeated the red-hot Chikadze as the betting underdog in a one-sided main event at UFC Fight Night last weekend.
In the days leading up to the fight, Chikadze sounded more focused on featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski than Kattar, calling for a title shot with Max Holloway injured and then taking shots at Volkanovski once he agreed to face Chan Sung Jung.
Speaking with theScore on Tuesday, Kattar said he believes Chikadze was looking past him, and that his performance proved Chikadze made a mistake.
"I was OK with it because the more he talks about the title, the more he makes the headlines for saying why he's so deserving, when I take him out, it's going to put me next in line," Kattar said.
He added: "I think he jumped the gun a little bit, and he paid for it."
Kattar fought Chikadze nearly a year after suffering a brutal loss to Holloway. He was one of the few featherweight contenders who didn't call for a title shot when Holloway fell out of his trilogy bout against Volkanovski. That was by design.
"I'm coming off a loss with a big fight coming up in less than a week," Kattar said of his mindset when he heard Holloway was out. "All the callouts could wait until after my fight. ... You're more (persuasive) with your actions than your words."
Kattar added he wasn't upset that the UFC finalized the Volkanovski-Jung bout despite the fact his pivotal fight with Chikadze was only days away, because he was focused on his foe.
"I wouldn't overlook somebody like that," Kattar said.
Back in the win column, Kattar said he isn't too concerned about where he stands in the title picture. He hopes the win over Chikadze sent a message to UFC brass, but he won't mind if he has to secure another victory to earn that opportunity.
However, Kattar said he would be more than willing to step in if either Volkanovski or "The Korean Zombie" pulls out of their April fight. He would also be open to being the backup fighter.
"Hopefully it works out where they need me to step up and just take advantage of an opportunity," Kattar said.