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Odds flip as Khamzat Chimaev becomes betting favorite over Leon Edwards

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While bookies still aren’t sold on Khamzat being a world beater, enough money came in on Chimaev to beat Edwards that he’s now the betting favorite to win their Dec. 19, 2020, fight.

The hype trains continues to chug along as sports fans apparently choo-choo-choose hot prospect Khamzat Chimaev over (formerly) No. 3-ranked Welterweight Leon Edwards in their December 19th main event showdown.

After weeks of struggling to find an opponent for the red-hot Khamzat, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) finally got Edwards to sign on the dotted line after stripping him of his official ranking because of inactivity. Things came together pretty quick after that, with UFC President, Dana White, confirming after UFC 254 that the fight was locked in and good to go.

The opening line for that fight? Leon Edwards a -175 favorite to Khamzat Chimaev’s +150 underdog status. But, that didn’t last long as Khamzat stans poured so much money in on “Borz” at those odds that the line went and flipped.

Now Chimaev is a -180 favorite to Leon Edwards at +150.

Khamzat — for those of you living under a UFC-free rock these past few months — has become the talk of the town after the fight promotion allowed him to fight twice in two weeks, and then again two months later. Each fight was shorter than the last until Chimaev finished his third fight against Middleweight Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds with a one punch knockout (watch it). The win puts him at 9-0 in his pro career, which started just 1.5 years ago.

As for Edwards, he’s on an eight-fight win streak in the Welterweight division with his last three wins coming against Rafael dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson and Donald Cerrone. He was set to face Tyron Woodley in March before the coronavirus pandemic locked down international borders, leaving him on the sidelines waiting for worthy opponent. That pickiness may have cost him his ranking (we’re still waiting to see if UFC follows through with next week’s update), and now has him facing an unranked and very game Khamzat.

How Khamzat will do is anyone’s bet. The bookies clearly saw it one way, but the money saw it another. There’s no doubt, though, that Chimaev is in for the toughest fight of his career.