UFC president Dana White explained the decision behind booking Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie.
Volkanovski was initially set to defend his featherweight title in a trilogy fight against Max Holloway in the UFC 272 headliner — that was until Holloway had to pull out after aggravating an injury.
A number of fighters would call to step in and fight Volkanovski including Chikadze, who notably fights Calvin Kattar this weekend at UFC Vegas 46 in a pivotal featherweight contest.
An impressive win over Kattar would not only make it 8-0 for Chikadze since debuting for the UFC in 2019, but also firmly put him in title contention with not many likely to complain if he got the shot.
However, Volkanovski would earmark Korean Zombie as his next opponent which led Chikadze to believe he was being ducked.
I don’t blame you, I don’t wanna fight me either chump
— GIGA CHIKADZE (@giga_chikadze) January 8, 2022
In the end, that’s what the UFC went with as Volkanovski will now defend his title against Korean Zombie at in the UFC 273 headliner which takes place April 9.
Dana White: Too Risky To Wait For Giga Chikadze
So why did the UFC go ahead with Korean Zombie instead of waiting for the result of the Kattar vs. Chikadze fight? In a recent interview with TSN, White explained that there were too many logistics involved.
Not to mention the fact that he feels Korean Zombie is deserving of the shot.
“Because we needed to. We got sh*t to do. We gotta get this stuff done,” White said. “I would love to wait for Giga and see how that thing plays out. But is he gonna win? Is he gonna come out unscathed? Is he gonna be healthy enough? Can he turn around quick enough?
“It’s just, listen — Korean Zombie just won a fight, he’s the No. 4 guy in the world. He deserves it.”
In the end, Chikadze will eventually get his title shot if he keeps doing what he’s doing.
For now, he needs to focus on Kattar, who will be looking to enter title contention himself by rebounding from his lopsided defeat to Holloway last year.
“Giga wins, he’s gonna get his chance,” White added. “You got a guy like Josh Emmett who would like that fight too. Korean Zombie is the right choice.”
Do you agree with Dana White?