Bryce Mitchell steps in against Josh Emmett at UFC 296

    Bryce Mitchell is getting one last fight in before the end of the year.

    The Arkansas native has stepped in to replace an injured Giga Chikadze in a featherweight matchup against Josh Emmett on Dec. 16 at UFC 296. The UFC announced the switch Wednesday night following an initial report by X user MagicM_MMABets.

    Chikadze was forced to withdraw from the bout earlier this week after suffering a torn groin in training. Chikadze posted a video on social media of the moment he injured himself.

    Mitchell, 29, now steps into the pay-per-view bout on less than two weeks’ notice. A smothering grappler, “Thug Nasty” has won seven of his eight UFC appearances, defeating the likes of Edson Barboza, Andre Fili, Charles Rosa, and most recently Dan Ige. Mitchell (16-1) is currently MMA Fighting’s No. 12 ranked featherweight in the world.

    Emmett, 38, looks to snap the first losing streak of his MMA career after suffering back-to-back losses to Yair Rodriguez and Ilia Topuria, the former of which was contested for the UFC interim featherweight title. Prior to his recent setbacks, Emmett (18-4) rattled off five consecutive victories over Calvin Kattar, Ige, Shane Burgos, Mirsad Bektic, and Michael Johnson. He is MMA Fighting’s No. 8 ranked featherweight in the world.

    UFC 296 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event is headlined by a pair of title bouts, Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington and Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval.

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