UFC newcomer Khamzat Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is one of the hottest prospects in the UFC right now, with Dana White touting ‘Borz’ as one of the most talented and promising fighters in the promotion.
“The guy is special,” White said about Chimaev earlier this year. “I’ve been in this game my whole life, I’ve never seen anything like him. I’m telling you the guy is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Never seen anything like this in my life. Special.”
Top-three ranked welterweight Leon Edwards, however, who will take on Chimaev in the UFC Fight Night 186 main event, thinks the undefeated Russian is overhyped.
Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) believes White is ‘praying’ Chimaev gets the win next month but promises to derail the hype train and ‘smash’ Dana’s boy.
“I know the UFC’s probably banking, Dana anyway, I know he’s praying that this kid wins, but I’ll be way too much for him in there, I’m telling you,” Edwards said in a recent interview with MMA Fighting.
“They’ve done this before with other fighters. They’d get one, two good wins in their career and the UFC kind of pushed them straight to the top, and then they get beat. Like in boxing, if you’re a good prospect, they kind of build you slowly, make you learn the tricks of the trade and go through adversity. They’ve done it to many other fighters you can name. It’s not worked out.”
Edwards, who feels he deserves a title shot if he beats Chimaev, says the UFC’s blatant favouritism towards the Swedish-based fighter has only added extra motivation to prove the doubters wrong on Dec. 19.
“This is more motivation for me,” Edwards said. “I understand it’s a business. I understand that they’re trying to invest in this kid. I use this as motivation to show them once again why I’m on an eight fight win streak and why I believe I am the best in the world. I don’t really look into it too much.
“I just use it as motivation. Put it on my back and keep working. Keep grinding forward with what I want to achieve and that’s being a world champion.”
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