Earlier this week it was reported that a fight between rising star Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) and welterweight contender Leon Edwards (18-3) was in the works. On Friday UFC President Dana White announced the fight on the “The Jim Rome Show”. During the UFC 254 post-fight press conference, White gave a status update and confirmed that the contracts have been signed for December 19th.
Before this bout being announced Leon Edwards was removed from the UFC rankings due to inactivity. This seemingly led to this fight becoming booked. As soon as the bout was announced, Edwards was reinstated to the rankings as the third-ranked contender.
Chimaev has not been in the UFC very long but has already broken records and become quite a fan favourite. He has only 3 fights in the UFC, 2 at Middleweight and 1 at Welterweight, all of which he has finished in the first round. In his most recent bout, he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds.
Yet to be ranked in the promotion, this fight is a massive step up in competition for Chimaev, with a win potentially opening up a shot at the title.
Edwards has been in the UFC since 2014 and has fought 12 times for the promotion. He is currently on an 8-fight win streak, his last loss being against current champion Kamaru Usman. His recent wins include the likes Rafael dos Anjos and Gunnar Nelson.
The bout is expected to headline the card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.