Irwin Rivera Replaces Mike Davis Against Giga Chikadze at UFC Fight Night 172

By Jay Pettry May 15, 2020

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On short notice, a champion from another promotion has stepped up to join the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The preliminary bout of Giga Chikadze (9-2) vs. Mike Davis (8-2) at featherweight on UFC Fight Night 172 has been changed. Davis suffered an illness due to his weight cut and has been forced out of his match, where he will be replaced by Irwin Rivera (9-4). This is the second time that the Chikadze-Davis fight has been scuttled, as the two were first paired up to fight at UFC Fight Night 169 in February, but Davis suffered an injury and had to withdraw.

First to report the news that Davis had withdrawn from the fight was Georgian outlet Adjara Sport. MMA Fighting reported the replacement of Rivera, who then confirmed it on his Twitter page.

Rivera will be taking the fight on less than 48 hours’ notice, the Titan Fighting Championships bantamweight champ will be moving up to featherweight to take this bout. It will not be his first foray at 145 pounds, as the Mexican fighter defeated Dana White's Contender Series competitor Lazar Stojadinovic in March 2019 at featherweight. The last two victories for Rivera have come at bantamweight, however, as he captured the interim belt by finishing Matt Wagy at Titan FC 55. He later unified the strap against the previously undefeated Danny Sabatello in December, and both of those wins were fourth-round body shot stoppages.

Chikadze has won his last four, including two inside the Octagon. The former Glory kickboxer made his debut by taking a split verdict over Brandon Davis in September 2019. He went on to win another split decision, this time over Jamall Emmers at UFC 248 in March. Before signing with the UFC, all seven of Chikadze’s wins came by first-round stoppage.

UFC Fight Night 172 goes down on May 16 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, and it will be headlined by a heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. The co-featured bout takes place in the women’s strawweight division, where Claudia Gadelha takes on Angela Hill.

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