Marc Raimondi, ESPN Staff Writer
Bryce Mitchell will step in on short notice to face Josh Emmett in a featherweight contender bout at UFC 296 on Dec. 16 in Las Vegas, the promotion announced Wednesday. Mitchell will fill in for Giga Chikadze, who withdrew from the scheduled bout earlier this week after suffering a groin tear in training.
ESPN has Emmett ranked No. 6 and Mitchell ranked No. 10 in the world at featherweight.
Emmett (18-4) has dropped two straight after a five-fight winning streak. The California native lost to Yair Rodriguez in an interim title fight at UFC 284 back in February and then fell to Ilia Topuria in June. The power-punching Emmett, 38, is tied for the most knockdowns in UFC featherweight history (11).
Mitchell (16-1) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Dan Ige in September. The Arkansas native is 7-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming to Topuria, the current No. 1 contender. Mitchell, 29, is considered one of the best grapplers and submission artists in the division.