Huge none pay-per-view UFC card on the 19th of December. The card is headlined by #3 ranked welterweight Leon Edwards (18-3) against unranked Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Edwards was supposed to fight Tyron Woodley but due to the pandemic, the fight was canceled. Gilbert Burns instead fought and beat Woodley granting him a title shot against Kamaru Usman. Although Burns eventually tested positive for COVID, Jorge Masvidal replaced him for the title fight.
Khamzat Chimaev is a rising prospect who just had the most active runs of the year 2020. He broke the record of the fastest fights between two fights in the modern era. He also then hold the record for the shortest interval for three fights. Dana White indicated that he loves the attitude of Chimaev who loves to fight literally anytime and anywhere. He even fights at two weight divisions, welterweight and middleweight. He had the most flawless fights so far in his first 3 fights in the UFC. Chimaev had landed 192 strikes while only receiving 2 strikes. That is insane, and no one has done that. The only person who came close was former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez who had 141 strikes and has absorbed only 2 strikes. His last win in the UFC was the most impressive, where he knocked out a bigger Gerald Meerschaert with only one punch.
If there is a fighter that has been screwed by the pandemic the most, it is Leon Edwards. He was going to fight Tyron Woodley and if he won, he would have the same situation as Gilbert Burns. He lost a chance to fight in his hometown and potential title contender fight. After the loss of opportunity, he couldn’t fight a fight he wanted which was a top-ranked fighter. Former title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson called out Edwards for a potential fight with which Edwards declined. Here comes Chimaev who the UFC is pushing to be the next star. Edwards initially declined but then UFC removed him from the official rankings. Edwards had no choice but to face Chimaev.
Stylistically the fight is hard to predict yet since Chimaev has so little experience on the big stage. He has looked impressive in all of his fights but his opponents were not top tier. Leon Edwards is the current #4 ranked welterweight in the world. It is easy to look good if the opponent is not elite. If Chimaev beats Edwards, he is the real deal. Edwards also has good striking and has a signature move where he elbows when getting out of a clinch. Edwards’s present resume is already title contender worthy. He just needs one more win to secure a title shot even though he lost to the current champion before.
The co-main event scheduled would probably be Stephen Thompson against Geoff Neal. This is also a welterweight contender fight. Stephen Thompson is a proven striker that has fought for the title but fell short against then-champion Tyron Woodley. He will face the dark horse of the division, Geoff Neal. It will be an entertaining match-up stylistically as both fighters love to strike rather than grapple. The fighters can also serve as the back-up for the main event should some injury or pulling out happen.
— MaRCeL DoRFF 🇳🇱🇮🇩 (@BigMarcel24) November 12, 2020
This fight card is important for the welterweight division. It would decide who will fight for the title next and who are the real top 5 guys. A potential fight with Covington vs Masvidal might be in the works unofficially. Many fans want to see that fight and even as far as go to TUF or the Ultimate Fighter Series. Covington and Masvidal were best friends before they became big but when south after team issues. So the history of both fighters would be entertaining for the fans and can generate big money.