A pair of UFC featherweights looking for a top 15 ranking will throw down in May.
After suffering a four-fighting skid for the first time in his storied MMA career, Swanson (27-11) is on a two-fight winning streak. He returned to action on December 12, a year to the day from when he blew out his ACL at Quintet Ultra. The California native knocked out Daniel Pineda in the second round, marking his first finish in over seven years. Before his knockout of Pineda, he dominated the then-undefeated Kron Gracie for three rounds to win a unanimous decision.
Swanson had originally been linked to a bout with Gavin Tucker on the May 1 card. However, Tucker was instead moved into a short-notice bout with Dan Ige, who was in search of an opponent at UFC Vegas 21 on March 13.
Chikadze (12-2) has been asking for a big name since he finished his excellent 2020 run, with four wins. The Georgian kicked off his year at UFC 248 in March with a split decision win over Jamall Emmers. He returned two months later with another split decision win over Irwin Rivera. Chikadze finished his year with back-to-back wins a month apart over Omar Morales and Jamey Simmons. He got his first UFC finish with a TKO over Simmons – his famous ‘Giga Kick.’
A win for either fighter could get them a spot in the featherweight top 15 rankings.
With the addition of Cub Swanson vs. Giga Chikadze, the UFC’s May 1 fight card breaks down as follows:
- Dominick Reyes vs. Jirí Prochazka
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Augusto Sakai
- Damon Jackson vs. T.J. Laramie
- Kai Kamaka III vs. T.J. Brown
- Mike Jackson vs. Dean Barry
- Ji Yeon Kim vs. Poliana Botelho
- Andreas Michailidis vs. KB Bhullar
- Ion Cuțelaba vs. Devin Clark
- Sam Hughes vs. Loma Lookboonmee
- Sean Strickland vs. Krzysztof Jotko
- Felipe Colares vs. Journey Newson
- Gabriel Benítez vs. Jonathan Pearce
- Cub Swanson vs. Giga Chikadze