One of the top fights at UFC 296 is no longer happening now that Giga Chikadze won’t meet Josh Emmett.
Chikadze suffered an undisclosed injury and is out of the featherweight bout, a person with knowledge of the situation told MMA Junkie on Monday evening. It’s unclear if the UFC is searching for a replacement, but Emmett shared a post on X (formerly Twitter) asking, “Who’s ready Dec 16th?”
UFC 296 takes place Dec. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Chikadze vs. Emmett was locked in as the night’s featured prelim between the No. 6 and No. 8 featherweights in the official UFC rankings.
Chikadze, 35, won his most recent bout, a unanimous decision against Alex Caceres this past August at UFC Fight Night 225. Prior to that, he’d been out of action for 19 months coming out of a loss to Calvin Kattar. Chikadze was scheduled to fight Sodiq Yusuff in September 2022 but withdrew because of injury a week before that fight.
Emmett, 38, was looking to get back on track against Chikadze after losing both of his fights so far this year. He lost an interim title fight to Yair Rodriguez by submission at UFC 284 and followed that up with a unanimous decision loss to Ilia Topuria in the Fight of the Night at UFC on ABC 5.
Below is the UFC 296 lineup:
Champ Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington – for welterweight title
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval
Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett
Ian Machado Garry vs. Vicente Luque
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson
Josh Emmett vs. opponent TBA
Irene Aldana vs. Karol Rosa
Cody Garbrandt vs. Brian Kelleher
Ariane Lipski vs. Casey O’Neill
Dustin Jacoby vs. Alonzo Menifield
Martin Buday vs. Shamil Gaziev
Cody Durden vs. Tagir Ulanbekov
Randy Brown vs. Muslim Salikhov
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.