This Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 8 card in Jacksonville has had a late shake-up. Thursday, it was revealed that Mike Davis was out of his fight with Giga Chikadze once again. In his place steps Titan FC bantamweight champion Irwin Rivera.
For Davis, it’s not the first time he’s had to drop out of a fight with Chikadze. The pair were scheduled to fight back in February, but a Davis injury scuttled that bout. Now, a non-COVID-19 related medical issue has again thrown a wrench in the works.
Chikadze confirmed the news of Davis’ withdrawal, calling it “deja vu,” following an initial report by Adjara Sport.
However, as implausible as it may seem, Chikadze has managed to land a late replacement. That’s with Titan FC’s Rivera announcing that he was stepping up on short notice.
When the call comes…WE COMEEE!!!! 💯💪🏼🏆🇲🇽 TIME TO SHOW THE WORLD WHAT WE CAN DO. thank u to @AliAbdelaziz00 for quarterbacking this whole thing. Thank u @seanshelby @ufc Mi familia siempre and my ninjas going to war with me. Big respect to GiGa as well 💯🙏🏆🇲🇽 #LFG pic.twitter.com/nYMgdk85eY
— Irwin Rivera (@Beast144_1) May 15, 2020
Rivera (9-4) is the winner of three straight. He captured the Titan FC bantamweight championship last June, and successfully defended the belt this past December. Chikadze (9-2) is on a four-fight win streak of his own coming into the Jacksonville fight.
It remains to be seen how COVID-19 testing will work in the case of Rivera, given the turnaround time for results.
UFC on ESPN 8, headlined by heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris, takes place Saturday, May 16 at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.