Undefeated welterweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev has been clamoring for a top ranked opponent to fight, and got just that in the form of the UFC’s #3 ranked 170-pounder, Leon Edwards. This bout is scheduled to go down at UFC Vegas 17 on December 19, 2020. Despite giving up a considerable amount of experience against elite competition, the oddsmakers have the 9-0 Khamzat opening up as the betting favorite against the much more seasoned 18-3 Edwards — or 18-4 if you count Jorge Masvidal that one time back stage.
Is it hype? Is it talent? Is it recency bias? Whatever the reason, Chimaev is sitting with a favored line of -185, with Edwards getting no respect in underdog territory at +155.
Khamzat has taken the UFC by storm, going from a relative nobody to a bubbling somebody in just three-fights over the spread of around two-months. His draw is not just his willingness to fight everybody and all the time, but also the way in which he has owned his opposition so far. In his first-fight for the promotion, which was at 185-pounds, he dominated on the ground and finished in the second-round with a D’arce. Then, he dropped down to welterweight ten-days later and scored a ground and pound victory in the first-round. In his last-fight, Chimaev bounced back up to middleweight and absolutely melted prospect-killer Gerald Meerschaert in just 17-seconds with a right hand.
He seems to be the total package, but has enough been seen out of Khamzat to favor him over someone like Edwards? “Rocky” has won eight-straight since dropping a decision to now champion Kamaru Usman in 2015. That streak isn’t comprised of bums either. Leon has collected quite a few credible names to his list of victims, including Donald Cerrone, Vicente Luque, Gunnar Nelson, and even former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Come fight-time, it will have been over a year since Edwards had competed in the Octagon, which isn’t really that long but it does feel like an eternity considering how often some fighters are getting booked with the world on the fritz.
Check out the betting odds for Khamzat Chimaev vs. Leon Edwards, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:
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