Alexander Volkanovski has claimed Giga Chikadze’s defeat to Calvin Kattar was a ‘big eye-opener’ and has dubbed his rival a ‘punching bag’.
Chikadze, was on the receiving end of a virtually one-sided beatdown at the hands of ‘The Boston Finisher’ at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas last weekend.
Since then, the Georgian has come out swinging, and even suggested he would win the fight nine times out of ten if given the opportunity.
But Volkanovski – who is set to face Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 in April – believes he should eat some of that humble pie.
“That, mate, [against] good guys, you can’t just rely on a kick. You know, the Giga kick. It just shows you, you nullify his Giga kick and he ends up being a punching bag.
“Again just, man, that’s why you’ve got to fight these contenders. Fight all the top guys, guys that are going to mix it up. See where you are before you start facing the champ.
“You could imagine when you talk about making adjustments, game planning, cardio, all these tools that I have – mate, I would have made him look really, really bad. You could imagine.
“So before you want to take out these types of guys, let’s experiment with some of these good guys and see where you’re at. And he showed that he’s not really at that level.
The Australian added: I think it was a bad choice, because now he just looks like a bit of an idiot. And then he’s carrying on even to Zombie. Zombie, all he does — I think he did one of them emojis.
“Who wasn’t thinking that? The way you’re carrying on, who wasn’t thinking that? And then, you know, you start going off.
“If you’re going to play at that game, you’ve got to expect that criticism. You’ve gonna expect people are going to bite.
“If that’s the game you want to play, then play it the whole way. Don’t get upset when people start rubbing it in your face.”
Volkanovski, 33, was set to renew his rivalry with Max Holloway, 30, until the Hawaiian former UFC featherweight champion pulled out after he aggravated a pre-existing injury in training.
Chikadze, also 33, then offered to step in as a short-notice replacement, calling Volkanovski ‘a little chump’, just days before losing on points to Kattar.
The Georgian also suggested the Australian is cherry-picking his opponents after opting instead to face the ‘Korean Zombie’.
But Volkanovski, who has beaten Holloway twice before, insisted Chikadze is chatting utter rubbish as he pointed to his incredible 19-fight winning streak which also includes wins over Jose Aldo and Brian Ortega.
He continued: “Look at the people I’ve fought. Look at the guys I’ve fought. Mate, you’re an absolute idiot if you think that I have dodged fights.
“Max Holloway has proved he’s the next-best guy. I’m giving him the trilogy after winning twice. Who does that? Only guys that know that they’ve got the skills to keep winning are going to do that.
“The guys that don’t give a f—. The guys that have balls and are going to do what they need to do. That’s just plain and simple.
“I’m an easy champ to understand. I ain’t running from nobody. Earn that No. 1 spot and you can get it.”