After being rebooked for what feels like the 5th time already, a couple of days ago it was announced that upcoming star Khamzat Chimaev and 3rd ranked welterweight, Leon Edwards will fight on March 13th.
There’s a lot of hype around this fight because Leon will be Khamzat’s first real test in the UFC. Khamzat has been dominant in his three fights so far and you can definitely see the star potential he has, however is Leon a step too far for right now?
To be honest, I think he is, however, one major reason Chimaev is fighting Edwards is because the majority of the guys in the 170lbs division don’t want to fight the Russian-born Swede. His suffocating sambo style is similar to Khabib Nurmagomedov and that style is so difficult to combat because once you’re on the ground you simply don’t get back up. Furthermore, if you lose to him, you fall down the welterweight picture, so for guys like Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia and Michael Chiesa the risk of fighting him is greater than the reward. If you win, ‘Khamzat is overrated’ and if you lose, it’s embarrassing because he’s new to the MMA scene. The only reason Leon is fighting Khamzat is because he’s had nobody to fight for the past year and a half.
Nevertheless, onto the key questions, what happens to Khamzat if he loses? Does the hype train stop? Because this is what is happening to Edmen Shahbazyan and Sean O’Malley and the main reason O’Malley lost was because of an injury. It’s an interesting query because if Edwards exposes a weakness in Chimaev’s game, then will everyone be jumping up to be next in line to fight him? Or will they just avoid him because that hype is gone? Furthermore, Khamzat is currently ranked 14th in the division but hasn’t beaten anyone in the top 15. What does that mean for the UFC ranking system? If Khamzat loses surely that means it’s bogus and we as fans shouldn’t pay attention to it because it’s clearly false.
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered and we have to wait at least two months to get them. I’m praying this doesn’t become the Tony Ferguson vs Khabib of the Welterweight division and get cancelled again.