Josh Emmett took to social media Monday evening to announce that his anticipated bout against Giga Chikadze at UFC 296 is no longer happening.
However, Emmett expressed his desire to remain on the card for the event and is actively seeking a replacement opponent.
Emmett’s announcement on Twitter was straightforward and to the point: “Giga’s Out. – Who’s ready Dec 16th?”
Emmet’s tweet hinted at the unfortunate withdrawal of Giga Chikadze from their upcoming bout.
Shortly after Emmett’s post, Giga Chikadze confirmed via social media that he had to withdraw due to a torn groin. Chikadze even shared the exact moment the injury occurred during training through a video. The footage shows the moment in training when Chikadze kicked and crumpled to the ground in agony.
Acknowledging the unpredictability of injuries in sports, Chikadze posted on Twitter: “S**t happens. Tore groin. I’ll be back soon.”
The severity of the injury and the duration of his absence from the Octagon remains uncertain. But it is certain that he will be unable to compete at the UFC 296 event.
With a professional record of 15-3, Giga Chikadze last competed against Alex Caceres and ended up winning by decision. Chikadze is currently ranked eighth at featherweight in the UFC. He has an 8-1 record and has victories over Edson Barboza, Cub Swanson, and Jamall Emmers.
On the other hand, Josh Emmett currently has a record of 18-4. He recently suffered a defeat against Ilia Topuria and is now on a two-bout losing streak. Prior to that, Yair Rodriguez defeated him by submission to become the interim featherweight champion.
At featherweight, Emmett is rated sixth and has impressive victories against Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos, Dan Ige, and Kattar, among others.
With Chikadze’s withdrawal, the UFC 296 lineup may undergo alterations. However, it includes compelling matchups such as Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington, Alexandre Pantoja vs Brandon Royval, and Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett, Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Stephen Thompson, among others.