The Ultimate Fighting Championship is doing a little reshuffling for its pay-per-view card in March.
On Wednesday, MMA Junkie first reported that Movsar Evloev has been forced pull out of his featherweight bout against short-notice replacement opponent Jamall Emmers (17-4). Originally, Evloev was to take on Douglas Silva de Andrade at this event, but Silva de Andrade pulled out and was replaced by Emmers.
It has since been revealed by Tiger Muay Thai early Thursday that Evloev was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. His timetable for recovery, and the extent of his injuries beyond those visible, is currently unknown. In his stead against Emmers will be Giga Chikadze (8-2), who recently lost a matchup on UFC Norfolk when his opponent withdrew due to injury. The two will square off at UFC 248 on March 7 in Las Vegas.
Chikadze has won each of his last three since suffering his first career stoppage loss on Dana White's Contender Series in 2018. At Gladiator Challenge, the former kickboxer forced two men with a combined record of 2-32 to tap out, and was subsequently signed by the Las Vegas-based promotion. He made his debut in September 2019 and faced Brandon Davis at UFC Fight Night 160. The Georgian fighter won his first decision by taking a split verdict over Davis, with his previous seven victories all coming no later than 2:37 of the opening frame. However, the records of those seven men stood at just 3-56 altogether when he faced them, and Davis marked the first fighter with a winning record that Chikadze defeated.
Emmers has appeared for a multitude of regional promotions including Legacy Fighting Championship, Resurrection Fighting Alliance, Tachi Palace Fights, and most recently, Legacy Fighting Alliance. He appeared three times with LFA, with his first two preceding his own 2018 Contender Series defeat. "Prettyboy" has finished each of his last four foes, and punched his ticket to the UFC by putting Rafael Barbosa to sleep with an arm-triangle choke at LFA 81 in January.
UFC 248 goes down on March 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a pair of title fights as Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight strap against Yoel Romero, while Weili Zhang puts her strawweight belt on the line against former queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk.