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Khamzat Chimaev opens as betting favorite over Leon Edwards

UFC 267: Jingliang v Chimaev Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Now that Jorge Masvidal has withdrawn from his scheduled matchup with rival Leon Edwards at UFC 269 this December the focus has turned to a potential clash between “Rocky” and undefeated phenom Khamzat Chimaev.

Edwards, who hasn’t lost in the UFC’s welterweight division since dropping a decision to Kamaru Usman back in 2015, is hoping to hold out for a rematch with the champion sometime early next year. The matchup with Masvidal was supposed to seal the deal for Edwards, but he believes he’s already done enough to lock down his first UFC title shot against Usman.

While Edwards is one of the only other contenders left that Usman hasn’t defended his title against there are rumblings of a potential clash between “Rocky” and Chimaev. The two were already scheduled to meet at UFC Vegas 21 earlier this year, but “Borz” was forced to withdraw due to his battle with COVID-19. The matchup was never rescheduled and both welterweights have gone their separate ways since.

However, it seems as if Masvidal’s recent withdrawal has opened a window of opportunity for Edwards and Chimaev to schedule another fight. Edwards doesn’t seem too thrilled about the idea, but Chimaev is coming off another dominant win inside of the Octagon and would be a great feather in the cap of “Rocky.”

Earlier this week, betting odds were released for a potential clash between Edwards and Chimaev (h/t Low Kick MMA). Surprisingly, “Rocky” is a +150 underdog against the undefeated youngster. Chimaev, on the other hand, is already a -175 favorite over Edwards. Those odds may seem a little lopsided considering Edwards’ current win streak, but it’s a testament of how good Chimaev seems to be.

As of now, Edwards wants nothing to do with this matchup. But considering UFC found a way to schedule it once before it’s possible that a little extra cash will convince “Rocky” to sign on the dotted line again.