UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has hit back at Giga Chikadze following the Georgian’s recent criticism.
When Alexander Volkanovski discovered that Max Holloway had withdrawn from their trilogy bout, the only name on his mind for a replacement seemed to be The Korean Zombie. Chan Sung Jung was happy to oblige and now, the pair will square off for the 145-pound title at UFC 273.
Giga Chikadze, who had a bout lined up against Calvin Kattar, felt like he was being overlooked for the opportunity to face Volkanovski. He made his feelings known to the champion and after Chikadze suffered a one-sided battering at the hands of Kattar, “The Great” spoke to Ariel Helwani about the ordeal and where he thinks Giga went wrong.
“Look, there’s going to be people that are going to trash talk and all that. It’s a part of the game, we understand that. But there’s other sides to it,” Volkanovski said. “And then there is real disrespect — not only to me, but to Calvin Kattar as well. You’ve got a man, a top contender in front of you, and you’re acting like you’re just going to walk through this guy. Not only, let’s win first before you start carrying it on, [but] you’re probably going to get injured. The fight’s not too far away and all that. There’s so many things that come into play.
“He’d said, ‘I’m looking forward [to fighting you],’ and I said, ‘Mate, keep doing what you’re doing.’ I remember having that conversation with him: ‘Keep doing what you’re doing and it’s going to happen.’ But then he started,” Volkanovski said. “I don’t know, maybe he just thought that was the way to go about it. He started carrying on, and a lot of people like me are like, ‘You better win, or else this is going to look real bad.’ And I think it was a bad choice, because now he just looks like a bit of an idiot. And then he’s carrying on even to Zombie. Zombie, all he does — I think he did one of them emojis.”
“I think [UFC Vegas 46] was a big eye-opener for Giga,” Volkanovski said. “That, mate, [against] good guys, you can’t just rely on a kick. You know, the Giga kick. It just shows you, you nullify his Giga kick and he ends up being a punching bag. Again just, man, that’s why you’ve got to fight these contenders. Fight all the top guys, guys that are going to mix it up. See where you are before you start facing the champ. You could imagine when you talk about making adjustments, game planning, cardio, all these tools that I have — mate, I would have made him look really, really bad. You could imagine.
“So before you want to take out these types of guys, let’s experiment with some of these good guys and see where you’re at. And he showed that he’s not really at that level.”
Quotes via MMA Fighting
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