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Giga Chikadze out of UFC 296; Josh Emmett calls for replacement opponent

By Damon Martin

Josh Emmett needs a new opponent after revealing that Giga Chikadze fell out of their scheduled fight at UFC 296 on Dec. 16 in Las Vegas.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Chikadze is no longer competing on the card due to injury. He later revealed that he suffered a torn groin in training while posting a video of the incident.

As for Emmett, he is calling for a replacement opponent to face him in the final UFC card of 2023.

“Giga’s out,” Emmett wrote on Twitter. “Who’s ready Dec. 16?”

It’s unfortunate news for the Georgian featherweight, who made his long-awaited return to action in August, earning a unanimous decision over Alex Caceres. It was Chikadze’s first fight in over 18 months after he took a lot of damage in a five-round battle with Calvin Kattar in January 2022.

As a result of the punishment he absorbed in that fight, Chikadze had to gain clearance from the Nevada Athletic Commission to compete at UFC 296. News of his withdrawal nixes his need for a fight license.

Emmett wants a chance to return to the win column after dropping back-to-back fights in bouts against Yair Rodriguez and Ilia Topuria. Following a five-fight winning streak, he came up short in his bid to become interim champion when Rodriguez finished him with a triangle choke submission at UFC 284. He returned four months later and dropped a “Fight of the Night” to Topuria in Jacksonville, Fla.



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