Fans have been anticipating the matchup between No. 3 ranked UFC welterweight Leon Edwards and No. 15 Khamzat Chimaev for months, and Chimaev recently said he’s ready to take Edwards’ “head.”
The two fighters were scheduled to fight in December 2020 and January, however both times the fight has fallen out due to COVID-19. In the second attempt to put on the match, Chimaev (9-0) pulled out citing lingering lung issues stemming from the virus.
A few weeks back, UFC president Dana White confirmed to MMA Junkie that Edwards vs. Chimaev has been rebooked again and will take place on the March 13 fight card. The venue and city have not yet been confirmed, according to the outlet.
In a recent interview with Front Kick Online, “Borz” confirmed his lungs are back to normal and he is preparing vigorously for the presumed five-round main event.
“Now I’m back to 100%,” Chimaev said via the outlet. “My lungs are good. Strength and conditioning is great. You’ve seen how hard we work on cardio. We work hard day after day. I’ve always worked hard, but I’ve never trained for five rounds before. Now I train extra hard with longer sessions.”
In typical “Borz” fashion, the Russian-born fighter confirmed that he is ready to “smash” Edwards (18-3) and then look toward the next fight.
“I want to smash him, brother,” he continued. “I want to destroy him. I want to take his head, and collect every head like this. I have nine right now, but soon I’ll have 10. Then we’ll continue collecting more.”
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Chimaev Said He Has Only Ever Seen Highlights of Edwards Losing, Never Watched Him Fight
Typically when preparing for a contest, a fighter and their coaches will study tape on their opponent. But that’s not the case for Chimaev. According to Borz, he has only ever seen highlights of “Rocky” on YouTube, specifically from his 2015 fight with now-welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. That match marks the last time Edwards tasted defeat, losing via unanimous decision.
“I’ve never seen Edwards fight, I’ve only seen highlights of Usman beating him,” Chimaev said. “Highlights on Youtube, something like that. If Usman won like that, I’ll demolish him. He has no knockout power or anything special at all. I’ll dominate both him and Usman. Inshallah. Soon.
“Take everyone’s head, both in welterweight and middleweight. That’s my goal. People talk about hype, yada yada yada. But you guys know what I’m doing here. Nobody in the entire world does it like me.”
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Whoever Wins in March Could Earn a Welterweight Title Shot
There is a lot riding on the fight for both Chimaev and Edwards and a win over the other could propel the victor to a title shot. Although Borz is only ranked No. 15 in the division, he is one of the fastest-growing stars in the sport and should Edwards get his hand raised, he’ll increase his win streak to nine.
If Chimaev gets the job done, he’ll catapult himself into the star-studded top five and his popularity will likely grow even more. With all the hype surrounding Chimaev, and a victory over one of the best fighters in the division, he may become the next one up for the winner of UFC 258’s Usman vs. Gilbert Burns.