Rising sensation Khamzat Chimaev is finally getting his wish to fight a top-ranked UFC opponent.
According to UFC president Dana White in a Friday interview with Jim Rome, Chimaev will make his return to the Octagon against No. 3 ranked welterweight Leon Edwards later this year.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani offered a follow-up report confirming the 170-pound matchup, adding that Edwards vs. Chimaev is expected to headline UFC’s upcoming event on Dec. 19, which will take place in Las Vegas.
Leon Edwards x Khamzat Chimaev is a done deal, sources say. Main event. 170. Dec. 19.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 23, 2020
Edwards is back in the rankings, too. No. 3.
Dana White first revealed that they came to terms with both guys earlier today on @jimrome.
This news should come as a bit of a surprise considering Edwards was just removed from the official UFC welterweight rankings earlier this week due to “inactivity.” The English contender had expressed little interest in fighting an up-and-coming name like Chimaev, but a deal was ultimately finalized.
Looks like Chris Weidman will have to wait his turn to get his hands on Chimaev.
Edwards, 29, has won his last eight trips to the Octagon, including victories over notable names like Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, and Vicente Luque. However, “Rocky” hasn’t fought since July 2019 as he’s been unable to come to terms with UFC on his next opponent. Edwards’ recent removal from the UFC rankings suggested he could have been benched until 2021, but cooler heads prevailed.
Chimaev, 26, has become one of the most talked about fighters in combat sports today after winning his first three UFC fights in the span of just two months. The undefeated Russian fighter has showcased some serious talent inside of the cage but he’s going to have his hands full against a top-ranked opponent like Edwards. It will be interesting to see if “Borz” can control Edwards like he has everyone else.
What do you think, fight fans? Who will win the upcoming main event between Edwards and Chimaev?
Let’s hear it!
Stick with Mania for more news on the Edwards vs. Chimaev fight card.