In a turbulent year for the UFC, there have been bright sparks and breakouts, with Khamzat Chimaev being the biggest and brightest of them all.
It is only fitting that the man who took the UFC by storm after the coronavirus hiatus for sports, be the one to end the year and hopefully in a spectacular high. Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev is just three fights into his UFC career, and nine in his professional fighting career, Chimaev is already carving a reputation for himself as a dangerous all/rounder who does not spend too long in the ring. In all nine of his fights, he has never crossed the 1:50 mark of round 2. For his three UFC fights, Chimaev has already set records in strikes delivered, received, and quickest turnaround victory for the company. The Swedish fighter has a style to him that is reminiscent of Khabib Nurmagomedov, quiet but deadly. Even though sports betting is not the most acceptable thing in the US, this is not a fight to miss and the Michigan online gambling circle is bound to heat up, just like every other across the country. Chimaev is not one to miss and so too is his opponent.
Unlike Chimaev’s previous opponents, Leon Edwards is no pushover. Actually ranked 3rd in the UFC welterweight rankings and 6th globally on Fight Matrix, the 29-year old from the West Midlands, England, is the real deal. After a 2015 fifteen loss to champion Kamaru Usman, which counts for one of his only three losses inside the octagon, Edwards has put up one impressive display after another, taking down the likes of Donald Cerrone, Dos Anjos, Vincente Luque, and Gunnar Nelson. Recently stripped of his rankings due to inactivity, his season has been hampered by the coronavirus-imposed travel bans. Prior to announcing his fight at UFC183, the UFC reinstated his rankings, and the Brit will be coming with a bit of a vengeance and a point to prove.
This will be a big score and statement for either men, both of whom hold so much promise and championship potential in the eyes of Dana White. Chimaev will all but certify he is the next big shot if he can pull off another eye-popping win, and will most definitely put him in the talks for a title shot. Edwards may be disadvantaged by his lack of competition but will not be taking Chimaev likely, as he is already on the cusp of becoming a solid contender for the welterweight title. A win against an upcoming star should be enough to convince Dana White and Kamaru Usman of his pedigree.
UFC Fight Night 183, will go down on the 19th of December, with the likes of Jose Aldo, Stephen Thompson, and Geoff Neal, also part of the card. It will be a most fitting event to end the year, à taste of what the year holds.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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